Complex Networks, the digital-media company owned by Verizon and Hearst that functions as a kind of in-house studio for the telco’s Go90, is boosting its youth-targeted programming slate with 11 new original productions and also announced the renewal of Peter Berg’s “QB1: Beyond the Lights” docu-series for two additional seasons.
Complex, which Verizon and Hearst acquired last year, claims it had more than 2 billion video views in the first quarter of 2017 across multiple platforms, including Verizon’s Go90 mobile video service.
Season 1 of “QB1” from Berg’s Film 45, inspired by his “Friday Night Lights” TV series, premiered on Go90 in February. The first season followed three top high-school quarterbacks during their senior years. Seasons two and three will follow new teen football players as they prepare to enter college, with the second season slated to begin shooting this summer.
“It’s incredible to be able to share in the journey of these elite athletes as they stand on the precipice of their careers and take those final steps of high school to begin the next phase of realizing their dreams,” Berg said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to sharing the stories of the next generation of athletes in the coming seasons.” The series is executive produced by Berg, Matt Goldberg, Brandon Carroll, and Steve Clarkson with Peter Richardson as co-executive producer for Film 45; and Justin Killion and Melanie Moreau for Complex Networks.
Other series distributed on Go90 from Complex Networks include: “Thanksgiving,” created by Dan Powell and Bethany Hall and starring Chris Elliott and Amy Sedaris; political comedy “Embeds,” from Megyn Kelly and Michael De Luca; “Top Grier” starring digital star Hayes Grier; “Drive Share,” created by and starring Paul Scheer and Rob Huebell; and “#Preached” from Think Factory Media.
The new productions from Complex Networks will be distributed on four of its channels: Complex (urban hipsters), Rated Red (heartland millennials), First We Feast (food), and Sole Collector (sneakers):
- “Jeremiah Bullfrog Forks It!” (Complex channel on Go90, May): The 24-episode unscripted series follows chef Jeremiah Bullfrog as he travels the country chowing down and soaking up the local food culture. Executive produced by Michael Hoff, Alex Hoff and Rena Ferrick of Hoff Productions; Justin Killion and Melanie Moreau of Complex Networks.
- “Complex Closets” (Complex.com, June): A look at the clothes and sneaker collections of pop-culture personalities, hosted by Complex’s Joe La Puma.
- “The Neighborhood” (Complex.com, summer): A reboot of Complex’s series following music, sports, fashion, and entertainment personalities back to the cities and neighborhoods where they got their start, hosted by Complex’s Jinx.
- “Play by Play” (Rated Red on Go90, summer): Coming-of-age comedy series (comprising eight 22-minute episodes) narrated by a present-day sportscaster who looks back on his life in the ’90s and gives the play-by-play of his adolescence. Created and executive produced by Kevin Jakubowski; Jordana Mollick, Kevin Mann, Brendan Bragg for Haven Entertainment; and Justin Killion and Cory Stern serve as executive producers for Complex Networks.
- “A Little Too Farr” (Rated Red on Go90, summer): The 36-episode unscripted short-form series follows country-music singer Tyler Farr, giving fans an all-access glimpse at his life on and off the road. Executive produced by Ryan Holcomb and Jeff Cvengros for Tower 2 Productions and STX Entertainment; Tyler Farr and Haley McLemore are also executive producers; Justin Killion and Melanie Moreau are executive producers for Complex Networks.
- “Going Cambo” (Rated Red on Go90, May 30): Unscripted series follows Cambo, a 20-something, self-taught survivalist who teams with his friend, American hip-hop performer-producer Yelawolf to give a guest the opportunity to embark on a 48-hour adventure in the backwoods of Alabama with only the clothes on their back and Cambo’s well-used Slumerican buck knife. Executive produced by Yelawolf, Mike Wolfe, Shaun Silva, and Brian Friedman; Justin Killion and Melanie Moreau are executive producers for Complex Networks. David Barsky serves as co-executive producer. The 48-episode series comprises 6-9 minute episodes.
- “Throttle Rockets” (Rated Red on Go90, May 2017): Unscripted 24-episode short-form series follows Greg Hatcher and his team of mechanics as they make dreams come true for scooter enthusiasts. Executive produced by Charlie DeBevoise, Jen Holbach and Mark Hickman for NorthSouth Productions; and Justin Killion and Melanie Moreau for Complex Networks.
- “The Infidels” (RatedRed.com, April 26): The third installment in the Rated Red Documentaries series follows a group of young war veterans coping with civilian life by riding stunt bikes illegally through the streets of Arizona. Previous documentaries include “Black Rock Blues,” following a millennial coal-mining family in Ohio; and “Guns Up Texas,” a four-part road trip through the Lone Star state to talk, and shoot, with all types of people and explore the nuanced relationship Texans have with firearms. Rated Red Documentaries is executive produced by Todd Schwarzschild and Tommy Davis for Complex Networks’ Rated Red.
- “Unsigned” (RatedRed.com, May 1): Music series based in Nashville, Tenn., that spotlights some of the hottest undiscovered music talent.
- “Food Grails” (Complex’s FirstWeFeast.com, May): Food and travel show showcasing “the new underground icons of American food” focused on hyper-regional specialties and how they shape a city’s culinary identity. New episodes launch every two weeks.
- “Price the Hype”: (Complex’s SoleCollector.com, summer): Billed as “the world’s first sneaker game show,” asking contestants to guess on the resale values of streetwear’s most-hyped items to try to win shoes. Hosted by Complex’s Rich “MaZe” Lopez and Yaya.