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Disney Channel to Bring Maker Studios’ YouTube Stars to TV

Maker Studios, the large YouTube multichannel network acquired by Disney, is working with corporate cable cousins Disney Channel and Disney XD to produce TV specials featuring digital talent.

In the U.S., Disney Channel and Disney XD have each committed to an original Maker-branded half-hour special, with additional opportunities in development with Disney Channels Worldwide. The companies announced the new programming initiative at Mipcom.

The cross-platform tie-ups are just the sort of synergy execs promised with the Mouse House’s purchase of Maker Studios for half a billion dollars this year, in a deal that could be worth up to $950 million.

The first Maker block will be a Halloween-themed program airing as part of Disney Channel’s annual “Monstober” event. The special will feature two 11-minute episodes airing as a 22-minute program, highlighting the best Halloween content from the Maker network. The episodes also feature original vignettes and sketches produced by Maker specifically for Disney Channel.

Both Maker and Disney Channel stars will host the episodes. Specific talent has not been announced for the TV special. (According to a tweet posted Saturday by the MCN, Maker creators appearing in “Monstober”-branded content will include Mortem3r, AJ Rafael, Mikey Murphy and Lana; however, Maker reps later said that was posted in error.)

The Maker-branded block for boy-skewing cabler Disney XD will follow the same format, but will instead feature the best pranks from Maker’s network of YouTube creators.

According to Maker Studios, its network of 55,000 content creators spans the globe — so the format can be localized by market with native talent and clips.

Separately, Maker cut a deal with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” producer Vin Di Bona Prods. that will include “ShayFV,” a weekly 17-episode series hosted by YouTube star Shay “Shay Carl” Butler keying off the “AFV” brand. “AFV” is entering its 25th year on Disney-owned ABC with the season premiere Sunday night.

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