EXCLUSIVE: YouTube’s new subscription service YouTube Red continues to ramp up its original programming slate, giving a series order to its first drama pilot, Impulse, directed and executive produced by Doug Liman, for a 2018 premiere.
The pickup follows series orders by YouTube Red to sci-fi drama Lifeline, produced by Dwayne Johnson and Studio71, the Dan Harmon-produced gaming comedy Good Game as well as a Step Up reboot.
The gender-bending hourlong action-thriller Impulse hails from Universal Cable Productions and studio-based Hypnotic (Suits) and marks the first UCP series for YouTube.
Written by Jeffrey Lieber (Lost, NCIS: New Orleans), Jason Horwitch (Marvel’s Luke Cage), and Gary Spinelli from a story by Lieber, and directed by Liman (Bourne Identity), Impulse is based on the third novel in the Jumper series by Steven Gould. It features a rebellious 16-year-old girl, Henry (Maddie Hasson) who has always felt different from her peers and has longed to escape from her seemingly quaint small town. She soon discovers she has the extraordinary ability to teleport.
Rounding out the cast of the series are Missi Pyle, Sarah Desjardins, Enuka Okuma and Craig Arnold. David James Elliott is set to recur.
“This unique thriller pulled us in right from the opening scene,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube. “We are thrilled to be in business with Doug Liman and everyone at UCP and Hypnotic.”
This is the second green light for Hypnotic and UCP in the past few days. Syfy gave a pilot order to the company’s Nightflyers, a supernatural thriller based on the novella by George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) and the 1987 film. The project is in the process of setting up a writers room to generate backup scripts in preparation for a potential series pickup.
“We are very excited to be working with Susanne, YouTube and Hypnotic on Impulse,” said Jeff Wachtel, Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, and President, UCP. “It’s always fun to start work on a new series, especially when it’s with a partner like YouTube that is continually breaking new ground.”
Impulse joins a string of recent new series pickups for UCP, which include The Sinner, Damnation, and Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G for USA Network; The Purge for USA Network and Syfy; Happy! for SYFY; and All That Glitters for Bravo.