Netflix has given a straight-to-series order to a show based on Miranda Sings, the popular character created by YouTube star Colleen Ballinger-Evans, Variety has learned. Ballinger-Evans will star in the upcoming streaming show, titled “Haters Back Off.”
“Haters Back Off” delves into the oddball family life of Miranda Sings, an incredibly confident, totally untalented star on the rise who continues to fail upward by the power of her belief that she was born famous — it’s just no one knows it yet.
The show has landed an eight-episode order. No launch date has been set.
The project marks the first-ever scripted streaming series for a YouTube personality. While other venues have greenlit series for digital stars — E!’s late-night talk show “The Grace Helbig Show,” Hulu’s Freddie Wong docuseries “RocketJump” — Miranda Sings’ is one of the first shows that does not fall into the unscripted genre. Currently in development, Fox is working on a scripted comedy with Vine star Andrew Bachelor a.k.a. King Bach, while HBO recently greenlit an Issa Rae series.
For Netflix, the series is a seamless step in the streaming landscape, bringing a digital star to a digital platform. In comparison to other television shows created for YouTube stars — for instance, E!’s Helbig vehicle — Netflix is a natural home for computer-friendly viewers, and Miranda Sings’ passionate digitally-savvy fanbase who don’t consume content on a TV screen and should have no trouble finding the Miranda Sings show by the click of a button.
Created in 2008, Miranda Sings is a fictional character who’s a parody of arrogant, egotistical, talentless, fame-hungry singers. The Miranda Sings YouTube channel has over 5.7 million subscribers and more than 700 million views with individual videos surpassing 17 million views. Miranda has a large Twitter presence with over 2 million followers. In addition to her own YouTube videos and comedy shows, the character has been on Crackle’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Jerry Seinfeld and on Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show,” among other high-profile appearances.
In November 2015 alone, Miranda Sings’ YouTube videos alone garnered 52.4 million views, according to digital-video tracking firm Tubular Labs, which ranked her first in “influencer score” among U.S. digital-native stars in the comedy category. The ranking is based on a range of metrics including her YouTube subscribers (5.6 million) and her average views per video (1.5 million).
The project was developed for TV by Ballinger-Evans, Chris Ballinger, Perry Rein and Gigi McCreery, who will all exec produce, along with The Firm’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry. Rein and McCreery will serve as co-showrunners. The longtime writing and producing duo are best known for their work on “Friends” and Disney Channel’s Selena Gomez-starrer “Wizards of Waverly Place.” Brightlight Pictures Inc. is producing.
In conjunction with this report, Ballinger-Evans posted a video announcement (see below) on Miranda Sings’ YouTube channel. The announcement had been hyped-up via her social channels — and to prove the character’s popularity, which makes her Netflix greenlight a seamless decision, the video had nearly 30,000 views in under 10 minutes of posting.
Andrew Wallenstein contributed to this report.