YouTube is again banking on known quantities to build out its YouTube Red originals slate, ordering two series from BuzzFeed Motion Pictures with built-in fanbases: competition show “Squad Wars” featuring comedy quartet the Try Guys, and scripted comedy “Broke.”
Both shows will be available exclusively to subscribers of YouTube Red, priced at $9.99 per month.
BuzzFeed’s Try Guys — Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, Zach Kornfeld and Eugene Lee Yang — have amassed millions of views on YouTube and other platforms with skits featuring them exploring everything from pregnancy simulation to UFC fighting. In “Squad Wars,” teams will compete in a series of outrageous tests for the chance to face off against the Try Guys themselves and claim the honor of “top squad.” The show will be debut on YouTube Red in 2017; production is set to begin on this fall, with the Try Guys producing and hosting the series.
“Broke,” based on a series of BuzzFeed shorts, was created by and stars Quinta Brunson, a BFMP producer and development partner, along with Maurice Williams and Paul Dupree. The series follows the lives of twentysomething best friends and recent grads who don’t let being cash-strapped stop them from pursuing their dreams. The 11-episode series is slated to debut on YouTube Red on Sept. 28.
BFMP’s Quinta Brunson, Matthew Henick and Jared Sosa will serve as executive producers on “Broke.” Brunson, Kate Peterman and Garrick Bernard wrote the series, with Sosa and Adam Bianchi directing.
“BuzzFeed has its finger on the pulse of social sharing, trending and keeping audiences entertained,” said Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content. “Quinta Brunson and the Try Guys already reach millions of fans with their popular videos, and we’re excited to introduce original series’ with characters and creators that fans already know and love.”
To date, YouTube Red original productions have keyed off big-name digital stars, including PewDiePie, Joey Graceffa and Lilly Singh (a.k.a. IISuperwomanII). Earlier this month at its inaugural Television Critics Association presentation, execs revealed plans for three new YouTube Red originals: sci-fi comedy “Lazer Team 2” from Rooster Teeth; a comedy series starring beauty and fashion vlogger Eva Gutowski (aka MyLifeAsEva); and Legendary Digital Studios thriller “The Thinning” starring Logan Paul and Peyton List.
Subscribers to YouTube Red, priced at $9.99 per month, get exclusive access to original series and movies. The service also strips out all ads and provides unlimited access to YouTube Music and songs on Google Play Music. YouTube Red is currently available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Mexico; YouTube plans additional international expansion through the end of 2016.
BuzzFeed officially reorganized into two divisions this month: the news team is headed by Ben Smith and BuzzFeed Motion Pictures led by Ze Frank. BFMP is based in L.A. at Siren Studios, with additional offices in New York, London, Sydney, São Paulo, Paris and Mumbai.