YouTube is launching four originals timed for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, hoping to get in on the action for the global sporting event of the summer.
The nonfiction programming from the Google-owned video giant features American gymnast Gabby Douglas, who was the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, and The Try Guys — Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer, Zach Kornfeld and Eugene Lee Yang — the YouTube comedy foursome who launched their careers at BuzzFeed.
The YouTube originals are all premiering ahead of the start of the Tokyo Olympics, which are taking place July 23-Aug. 8 after being rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s a rundown of the four projects, which are part of YouTube’s learning originals:
- “Strive” – Premieres June 30 on The Players’ Tribune YouTube channel: Six-part docuseries hosted by USA Olympic champion gymnast Gabby Douglas follows the journey of refugee athletes to compete either under the Olympic Refugee Flag or under a new flag after finally settling in a host country. Produced by Perfect Storm Entertainment and Radley Studios. Watch the trailer at this link.
- “How To Olympics” – Premieres July 14 on the Olympics YouTube channel: Eight-episode series that gives viewers everything they need to know about select Olympic events. The series covers sport climbing, taekwondo, rhythmic gymnastics, hammer throw, artistic swimming, breaking, badminton and fencing— telling viewers how each event is scored, how to win, and what it takes to master these athletic disciplines. Hosted by The Try Guys, and produced by Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC). Watch the trailer at this link.
- “World Debut” – Premieres July 7 on the Olympics YouTube channel: Feature-length documentary that tracks the journey of what it takes to add new sports to the Olympic Games — covering skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing, which will join the Summer Games for the first time this year. Featuring Tony Hawk, Emily Harrington and Sofia Mulanovich, directed by Cole Sax and Galen Knowles, and produced by WZRD Media, Boardwalk Pictures and Madica Productions. Watch the trailer at this link.
- “Break the Record” – Premieres July 22 on Guinness World Records Official YouTube channel: U.K. series in which kids interrogate and challenge some of the most extraordinary Guinness World Records title holders. The show features long jump Olympic medalist Greg Rutherford, tennis player and Olympic medalist Laura Robson, deadlift strongwoman and former World’s Strongest Woman Andrea Thompson, and parkour expert Ryan Luney. During each episode, a group of kids will be mentored by one of the Guinness World Records title holders in preparation for their biggest challenge to date: attempting their very own record. Produced by Guinness World Records and Electric Robin (a Banijay UK company).
In addition to the Olympics originals, YouTube originals include “Defying Gravity: The Untold Story of Women’s Gymnastics,” a six-part, PGA Award-winning docuseries exploring what it takes to be an elite gymnast.
YouTube also has an upcoming slate of new sustainability focused programming: “Seat at the Table,” with David Attenborough and creator Jack Harries, “Stay Wild” (working title) from Brave Wilderness in partnership with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Madica Productions, “Shut It Off ASAP” (working title) from AsapScience and B17 Entertainment.
Other learning-focused YouTube originals include Emmy-winning miniseries “Create Together,” a Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted series featuring the creations of everyday people collaborating to make art; “Glad You Asked” that explores topics driven by our curiosity about the world around us; “Retro Tech,” the series hosted by Marques Brownlee, that explores the technological promises of the past; and “Creators for Change on Girl’s Education with Michelle Obama,” which was recently named a Gracie Award Honoree.