Disney’s Maker Studios Expands Deal with Morgan Spurlock

Maker Studios, the Disney-owned YouTube multichannel network, has greenlit two new series from documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets production company.

The two series — each comprising 12 five-minute episodes — are: “Spark,” covering inventors and entrepreneurs and their dealings with altruistic venture capitalists; and “Everything Must Go,” an irreverent look at the world of advertising and marketing.

Those will be part of Maker’s forthcoming “Smartish” channel on YouTube and Maker.tv, joining two other previously announced short-form series: “Consider the Source,” which traces the origins of everyday items ranging from the iPhone to your morning cup of coffee; and “How to Win at Life,” based on Charles Duhigg’s bestseller “The Power of Habit,” exploring the science and hidden psychology behind everyday choices that may be ruining your life.

Maker has not set a launch date for the “Smartish” channel, which will host a collection of formats and talent.

“‘Smartish’ shows will make you laugh and make you think, and I’m a real believer that if you can make someone laugh then you can make someone listen,” Spurlock said in a statement. “Through this partnership with Maker, we are going to create the premiere destination for thought provoking and entertaining original content on the world wide interwebs.”

Added Maker chief content office Erin McPherson: “Morgan has a unique ability to create poignant, digital-first content which is compelling across platforms, and have no doubt the ‘Smartish’ series will also translate to linear distribution.”

Spurlock’s films through Warrior Poets, with producing partner Jeremy Chilnick, have included “One Direction: This Is Us,” “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” “Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?” and “Freakonomics.” TV projects have included FX series “30 Days,” CNN series “Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man,” Showtime’s “7 Deadly Sins” and ESPN’s “The Dotted Line.” Digital projects include Hulu’s “A Day in the Life,” Yahoo’s “Mansome” and “Losing It with John Stamos,” and Sky Atlantic HD’s Morgan Spurlock’s “New Britannia.”

Maker Studios, which Disney acquired in a deal worth up to $950 million earlier this year, recently has announced deals to produce programming with Disney Channel and Disney XDFusion, the news network joint venture of ABC News and Univision Communications; and “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” which airs on Disney-owned ABC.

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