×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Star Ray William Johnson Lands TV Deal

FX pics up host of online show

The TV world is about to get its hands on another YouTube star.

Ray William Johnson, who toplines online comedy series “=3,” signed a script deal with FX Networks, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

SEE ALSO: Could YouTube Become As Big As CBS or Viacom?

In addition to having had the most subscribed channel on YouTube for a period last year to his credit, Johnson has also made headlines for a bitter contract dispute between Maker Studios that saw him walk away from the top-rated multichannel network and set up his own production studio, Runaway Planet.

If Johnson’s project gets greenlighted for TV, it could represent yet another example of a self-made celebrity building up enough of an audience on YouTube to leverage opportunities in another medium, as best demonstrated by Lucas Cruikshank as Fred, the helium-voiced kids favorite that crossed over from YouTube to several projects at Nickelodon.

SEE ALSO: YouTube Unveils Pay Channels

But given the growth of YouTube as a medium in its own right, the trick is to capitalize on a TV platform without losing the Internet-bred foundation that built the star up in the first place.

Ironically, “=3” has often drawn comparison to another hit cable series: Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0,” which also relies on mocking viral videos. And though the measurement comparison between Nielsen ratings and YouTube streams isn’t exactly the same thing, “=3” is popular enough to draw audience levels comparable to “Tosh.0.”

More TV

  • Game of Thrones Final Season: Best

    The Best 'Game of Thrones' Merch to Get You Ready for the New Season

    We’re just weeks away from the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” and whether you’re a die-hard fan, on the hunt for a novelty gift, or a serious collector hoping to nab some memorabilia before the series signs off for good, we’ve found 10 pieces of merch that pay tribute to one [...]

  • Ryan KadroPaleyLive NY: The News Is

    Ryan Kadro Will Join Quibi to Oversee News Programming (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Kadro left CBS News several weeks ago, but he isn’t leaving the news business. Kadro, the former executive producer of “CBS This Morning” is set to join Quibi, the company led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman that is devoted to short-form  content. Kadro is expected to oversee news programming for the subscription-based service, [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

    “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday. “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. [...]

  • Coast Guard Lieutenant Hit List

    Coast Guard Lieutenant Targeted CNN, MSNBC Anchors and Democrats for Attacks

    Anchors at CNN and MSNBC and prominent Democrats were targeted for attack by a Coast Guard lieutenant arrested Friday on a firearms charge, according to federal prosecutors in Maryland. In court documents revealed Wednesday, prosecutors describe the firearms and controlled substance charges Christopher Paul Hasson is facing as “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.” CNN’s [...]

  • TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'The

    TV News Roundup: HBO Drops Trailer for 'The Case Against Adnan Syed' (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released the first official trailer for its upcoming docu-series “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” and Freeform announced three new cast members for its upcoming comedy series “Besties,” starring Jordin Sparks. DATES Netflix’s upcoming docu-series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” is set to premiere March 8 on the streaming platform. [...]

  • Rory O'Malley A Legacy of Changing

    NBC Pilot 'Like Magic' Adds 'Hamilton's' Rory O'Malley

    Rory O’Malley, best known for his turn as King George in the Broadway run of “Hamilton” as well as the show’s first national tour, has been cast in the upcoming NBC single-camera comedy pilot “Like Magic.” He will play Michael V., the quieter partner in a two-man magic team with a character named Michael B. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content