Kevin Hart is counterprogramming against a flood of grim headlines with his first original series for Snapchat: “Coach Kev,” in which the multihyphenate acts as your mentor to dole out bursts of inspirational of positivity and wisdom.
Hart is extending his Laugh Out Loud comedy brand to Snapchat with the 10-episode unscripted series, which premieres Saturday, Oct. 10. New segments will be released on Snapchat’s Discover platform every other day over two weeks.
“This is to put yourself in terms of positive thinking — I’m vocal, I’m in front of your face,” Hart, founder and CEO of Laugh Out Loud, said of the new show. “If you are in a position to contribute some positivity, why not?” He added, “Any type of content during this time like this is designed to counterbalance what we’re witnessing day to day.”
“Coach Kev,” shot in LOL’s studios against a greenscreen, shows Hart in 10 virtual locations — including the top of Mount Everest, in a gym, and in a boxing ring. Inspired by his own experiences, the premise of the series is that Hart will be your coach, best friend and mentor all rolled into one to encourage Snapchatters to live their best life.
Snap has found that unscripted formats work well with big stars, who are able to reach huge audiences on the app, said Sean Mills, head of original content. He cited Snapchat’s original series with Will Smith, “Will From Home,” which earlier this year drew more than 35 million viewers.
“It’s a great way to make shows during the COVID lockdown period,” Mills said. The Snap team met Hart after his car accident a year ago about the concept for “Coach Kev” and he “was passionate about helping people live their better lives,” Mills said. “With Kevin Hart you just let him do whatever he’s going to do because it’s going to be great.”
“Coach Kev” is “inspirational entertainment,” said Jeff Clanagan, president of Laugh Out Loud. “Kevin through, his social, has always been doing these motivational things. We formed a content strategy around that — we know there’s an appetite for it.” Clanagan also made the point that “doing stuff like this against a greenscreen was relatively easy to do.”
For Laugh Out Loud, the comedy entertainment company Hart established three years ago, Snapchat’s “Coach Kev” is the latest expansion of its content across multiple platforms, including Roku Channel, ViacomCBS’s PlutoTV, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. “It’s about having a relationship with those [platforms] that capture our essence,” Hart said. LOL content also is coming to NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and Hart is set to host an interview series for Peacock, “Hart to Heart.” Meanwhile, Hart also continues to host his radio show “Straight From the Hart” on SiriusXM and is set to star in action-comedy “Man From Toronto” for Sony Pictures, slated to begin shooting next week.
Hart’s “Coach Kev” joins a steadily growing roster of other Snap originals. Those include three docuseries coming in 2021: “Honestly Loren” about social-media star Loren Gray, from ITV America’s Sirens Media; “Life’s a Tripp,” following rapper-singer Trippie Redd as he covers major issues gripping our country today, from drug addiction to police reform, with the help of celebrity friends; and “Swae Meets World,” following Swae Lee on a journey through triumph and tragedy as the rapper-singer prepares to launch his first solo album (from Big Fish Entertainment).
“We get a lot of signals from our community about what worlds they care about, the talent they care about,” said Mills, saying that Loren Gray, Trippie Redd and Swae Lee each are “huge talent for our core audience.”
Snap also has a set a slate of 2020 election-related programming, including a “Good Luck Voter!” miniseries written by Peter Hamby (host of “Good Luck America”), “While Black with MK Asante,” and Jaden Smith’s “The Solution Committee” series about social and racial justice. Snapchat says it has helped more than 1 million Americans register to vote.
Watch the trailer for “Coach Kev” on Snapchat: