Music star Pitbull will produce two new series for Endemol Beyond USA, the digital-content arm of Endemol Shine North America, which also is launching two new digital-first networks — pop-culture-focused Looksy and sports-gaming destination Smasher.
The Smasher channel will include series hosted by digital stars Toby Turner and Jesse Wellens, who combined have nearly 30 million YouTube subscribers. Endemol Beyond USA’s two original series with Pitbull, slated to debut later in 2015, are “MasterClass” and “Pitbull Presents.”
“Masterclass” will feature different guest stars being schooled by experts in a wide range of fields including welding; surviving in the wilderness; knife-making; and dancing. “Pitbull Presents” will profile people who play a role in Pitbull’s everyday life including a chef and an audio engineer.
Endemol Beyond USA made the announcements at its Digital Content NewFronts presentation Thursday, held at the Current venue at New York City’s Chelsea Piers.
The production company’s NewFronts preso comes after it expanded its deal this spring with YouTube superstar Michelle Phan. Per that pact, the partners launched the Phan-led Icon network on YouTube and other platforms in the U.S. and the U.K.
“Brands are looking for new ways to work with premiere global production partners like Endemol Beyond,” said Vivi Zigler, president of digital, brand and audience development for Endemol Shine North America.
The Looksy network will feature content from digital talent including Brittany Furlan and Andy Milonakis, as well as scripted series “Neurotica” from Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, writers/producers of “The Office” and HBO’s “Hello Ladies.” Looksy also will include reality series “True Internet Tales” from producer Michael Lynn (“E! True Hollywood Story”).
Smasher, aimed at millennial males, includes a slate with revamps of British series “Rule’m Sports” and “Legends of Gaming” from Endemol Beyond U.K. The U.S. versions will be hosted by Jesse Wellens (YouTube’s “Prank vs. Prank”) and Toby Turner (“Tobuscus”), respectively.
Endemol Beyond USA president Will Keenan touted the success of Phan’s Icon channel as paving the way for its next launches. “We are now thrilled to add two new digital-first networks, expanding Endemol Beyond USA’s programming reach into sports, gaming and pop culture with some of the biggest names in the business,” he said in a prepared statement.
In addition, Endemol Beyond USA signed an overall deal with Jessica Sanchez, an “American Idol” finalist who will be featured in a number of new original series across the company’s digital networks.