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‘Smosh’ New Comedy Shows Lead Defy Media’s Fall Slate of Original Series

The Smosh comedy team is launching 11 new shows this fall, as part of what digital studio Defy Media says is its most aggressive programming expansion to date with 17 original series.

Led by original Smosh guys Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, the new Smosh shows are launching this month under the “Smoshtober” rubric. The new lineup features members from a “Saturday Night Live”-style ensemble cast, which was introduced last year with “Every [Blank] Ever.” That series became Smosh’s most-watched show, averaging nearly 6 million views per episode.

Defy’s newest programming push comes after the company banked $70 million in second-round financing this summer. “We want to put that money to work as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” said Barry Blumberg, Defy Media chief content officer.

All told, Defy currently produces 75 original weekly or biweekly series, with an audience of more than 70 million YouTube subscribers and 100 million social followers.

Defy Media regularly cancels some shows or reformats them if a particular concept is played out, according to Blumberg. The programming decisions are “not just driven by advertising revenue, but also whether the (intellectual property) has legs to travel to television,” he said.

The new Smosh shows include:

  • “The Big What If”: Sketch comedy show exploring infinite hypothetical possibilities, such as: What if “Star Wars” was shot entirely on Snapchat, and what if Donald Trump was your GPS?
  • “Smosh Animated”: Classic Smosh routines and soundbites are brought to life through via animation, featuring Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) in the premiere episode.
  • “Smosh Lab”: Smosh’s Shayne Topp is paired with a real-life scientist as they conduct kick-ass science experiments. What could possibly go wrong?
  • “MariCraft Outlaster”: Reality-style show leverages the popularity of MariCraft with confessional interviews and challenges each week.
  • “Reality Shift”: A virtual-reality spin on gameplay videos in which Smosh Games talent are in a VR game in real-time, while on-camera viewers comment on the action. Series will features games on the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and other VR platforms.

The Smosh shows come after the comedy troupe staged its first live-programming venture in August, “Smosh Live,” which has garnered over 2.5 million views to date on YouTube. “We really push people to do things they haven’t done before, to take advantage of resources they have access to,” Blumberg said.

In addition, Defy’s fall 2016 slate includes new shows for its Clevver pop-culture and entertainment brand. Those include “Get Jacked!,” a workout series hosted by high-energy trainer Jarrett Sleeper as he puts Clevver hostesses through an offbeat, grueling exercise routine inspired by hot topics and celebrities; and “After Friday,” a long-form recap talk show catching up on the week’s most-talked-about topics from celebrity drama to style trends.

And Defy’s Screen Junkies has launched a “Character Roasts,” a new format to its current lineup of 27 shows across YouTube and the ScreenJunkies Plus subscription service. In “Character Roasts,” from the creators of “Honest Trailers,” comedians roast their favorite pop-culture characters. The first fictional figure to get roasted: Captain America.

Defy Media will distribute the new series on YouTube and its own properties, as well as across more than 20 video platforms including Comcast Watchable, Sky TV, Verizon’s Go90, Amazon Prime, PlutoTV and Spotify.

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