×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YouTube Orders Shows From Dwayne Johnson, Dan Harmon, Doug Liman

Also renews Joey Graceffa's 'Escape the Night' for season 2 on YouTube Red

YouTube, taking more big swings with its original content, announced series from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions, Dan Harmon and Doug Liman, which will be available exclusively on its YouTube Red subscription service.

In addition, YouTube has greenlit a second season of murder mystery series “Escape the Night” from digital influencer Joey Graceffa, who has nearly 9 million subscribers across his two YouTube channels.

Johnson, the former wrestler turned TV and film star who now has over 1.3 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, will executive produce a new half-hour action series together with ProSiebenSat.1’s Studio71 and Corridor Digital. The series, which has the working title “Lifeline,” will center on a life insurance company that sends its agents forward 33 days in time to prevent the accidental deaths of its clients.

“We’re taking our YouTube partnership to the next level with ‘Lifeline,’” said Johnson in a statement. “YouTube has given me the opportunity to connect with my fans on a very direct level, and now we’re teaming up with the most innovative creators in the game to bring our special brand of action adventure to the audience.”

From director and exec producer Doug Liman (“Bourne Identity,” “Live. Die. Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow”) and Universal Cable Productions comes “Impulse,” a sci-fi thriller about a young girl who discovers her ability to teleport away from danger. Jeff Lieber (“Lost”) is attached to write and produce the hour-long series, slated to feature top YouTubers.

Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries will produce a half-hour scripted comedy series for YouTube Red featuring YouTube stars Dan Avidan and Arin Hanson of “Game Grumps.” The show follows a newly formed team of eSports players trying to make it to the top in the cutthroat world of competitive gaming.

Those will join the growing slate of YouTube Red originals, including a series based on the “Step Up” dance movie franchise from Lionsgate. Channing Tatum is on board as an executive producer along with his wife and co-star in the films, Jenna Dewan Tatum, along with the five films’ original executive producers Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot and Meredith Milton.

Susanne Daniels, global head of content for YouTube, announced the new original series Monday in a keynote at Mipcom. She reiterated that the video giant’s strategy with YouTube Red is not to try to replicate Netflix or Amazon in bringing “TV to digital.”

“Our goal is to be uniquely YouTube,” she said. “And our thesis is simple: Identify YouTube’s most engaging stars and top genres, and invest in the content that fans tell us they want. In other words, let our community drive our content.”

YouTube hasn’t disclosed how many subscribers it has for YouTube Red, which costs $9.99 per month and features no ads, offline viewing and unlimited access to Google Play Music. According to Daniels, previously MTV’s top programming exec, the original series have become one of the leading drivers of YouTube Red subscriptions, with viewership that “rivals cable shows in the U.S.” Over half the time people spend watching originals is on their mobile phones, while YouTube Red users watch more than 75% more YouTube video on their TVs than the average non-paying user.

This summer, YouTube announced that it was renewing AwesomenessTV’s series “Foursome” for a second season, season two of “Scare PewDiePie” starring Felix Kjellberg, and the sequel to Rooster Teeth’s “Lazer Team” movie.

Other YouTube Red programming includes post-apocalyptic teen thriller “The Thinning,” a movie starring digital celeb Logan Paul and Disney Channel star Peyton List, as well as comedy series “Buddy System” from YouTube creators Rhett & Link and a concert special and documentary from British comedy team Dan and Phil.

More info on the four YouTube Red series announced Monday:

  • “Lifeline” (working title): Eight-episode sci-fi action thriller, slated to debut in 2017, will be directed by Corridor Digital’s Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer. Written by Ben Freiburger and Grant Wheele; executive producers are Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Hiram Garcia for Seven Bucks Productions and Dan Weinstein, Gary Binkow and Amee Dolleman for Studio71.
  • “Impulse”: Based on the third novel in the “Jumper” series by Steven Gould, Jeffrey Lieber (“Lost,” “NCIS: New Orleans”) is writing the pilot, which is scheduled for production before the end of year. Executive produced by Doug Liman along with Hypnotic’s David Bartis and Gene Klein, who also produce Universal Cable Productions’ series “Suits” for USA Networks. It’s the first deal between UCP and YouTube.
  • Untitled comedy from Dan Harmon’s Starburns Industries: Created by gaming-industry professionals Michele Morrow and Jesse Cox, who also will appear as actors in the series about a newly formed team of eSports players trying to make it to the top in the cutthroat world of competitive gaming. The six-episode series will debut on Game Grumps’ YouTube channel in 2017. Executive produced by Dan Harmon (“Community,” “Rick & Morty”), Michael Waldron, Steve Levy, Arin Hanson and Brent Lilley, along with Morrow and Cox. Sarah Carbiener and Erica Rosbe (“Rick & Morty”) will serve as showrunners and writers, as well as co-EPs.
  • “Escape the Night” season 2: Returning star and host Joey Graceffa will transport ten YouTube creators into a new whodunit murder mystery, produced again by Brian Graden Media and Graceffa and slated to debut on YouTube Red in 2017. The first season, which debuted in June, has generated over 9.2 million views and features digital influencers GloZell, iJustine, Lele Pons, Shane Dawson, Eva Gutowski, Andrea Brooks, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Matt Haag, Oli White and Sierra Furtado.

More Digital

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • att_logo

    AT&T Suspends YouTube Ad Spending as Boycott Over 'Pedophilia' Videos Scandal Widens

    AT&T, one month after it thought it was safe to advertise on YouTube again, said it is pulling all advertising spending from the world’s biggest video platform. The telco joins a boycott by marketers alarmed by the discovery that a secret group of child predators has been using YouTube to make sexual comments about kids. [...]

  • VR Pop-Up Opens Doors in Manhattan

    Future of Storytelling Pop-Up VR Arcade Is Coming to Manhattan

    Manhattan is getting a location-based virtual reality (VR) pop-up, courtesy of Future of Storytelling: The temporary Story Arcade will open its doors in the Starrett-Lehigh building this coming Saturday, and host a number of VR experiences, including Felix & Paul Studio’s “Traveling While Black,” Fable’s “Wolves in the Walls” and MWM Immersive’s immersive theater VR [...]

  • Amy Winehouse

    Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour Canceled Over 'Challenges and Sensitivities'

    Amy Winehouse will not be “Back to Black” in a holographic live tour after all. The late British singer, who died in 2011, was to be featured in a stage show slated to launch near the end of 2019. But the producer of the show, BASE Hologram, has indefinitely postponed plans for the Winehouse show, [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez Joins TikTok App to Promote NBC's 'World of Dance'

    Jennifer Lopez is the latest celebrity to hop on TikTok, the short-form video app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance — more proof of the app’s growing traction, and reflective of media companies’ desire to reach its young-skewing base. Lopez had a very specific aim: to get fans excited about “World of Dance,” the NBC [...]

  • HTC Vive Announces Focus Plus VR

    HTC Vive Announces Focus Plus VR Headset With Dual 6DoF Controllers

    HTC Vive revealed its latest standalone virtual reality headset on Thursday. The Vive Focus Plus upgrades the company’s existing headset by incorporating dual six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) controllers, promising users the same freedom as PC VR devices. Adding the second controller will also make it easier for developers to port existing PC VR content, while making it [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content