A year after DreamWorks Animation acquired AwesomenessTV, a YouTube multi-channel network aimed at teenagers, DreamWorks is launching a YouTube channel under the purview of AwesomenessTV CEO Brian Robbins that combines the portfolio properties of both companies, with live-action and animated programming, including Shrek, Puss In Boots and Kung Fu Panda, cartoons from the Classic Media library and a new series featuring comic-book character Richie Rich. The DreamWorksTV channel, announced at the YouTube newfront, takes over the moniker that has been vacant more than a year since DreamWorks’ TV division, run by Steven Spielberg, reverted to the Amblin TV name. Series highlights include “family-friendly versions of reality TV,” original animated web series, and video posts featuring DreamWorks characters. Richie Rich, an original scripted series based on the iconic comic book character which DreamWorks picked up as part of the Classic Media library acquisition, will also make its debut this summer. The company plans to generate revenue by selling advertising on the channel and possibly licensing content to other streaming services and TV channels.
The channel launch comes on a busy and challenging morning for DWA. When it announced DreamWorksTV, the company had touted the channel as a way to diversify its holdings further from a dependence on twice-a-year animated films, a strategy made all the more important after the company’s box office struggles with its past few films. That became even more vital after today, when DWA is dealing with investor disappointment over its latest feature, How to Train Your Dragon 2. Despite strong reviews, Dragon couldn’t fly past the 22 Jump Street sequel and appears headed to so-so summer opening of about $49.5M or less, behind 22JS‘ $57M or so. Investors are punishing the Dreamworks stock, again, sending share prices down nearly 12 percent in early trading. AwesomenessTV’s Robbins said a couple of weeks ago that , since being bought, his network has seen a 10X jump in views of the content created by its stable of about 90,000 video makers, to about 1 billion a month. Now the DreamWorksTV channel will target a somewhat younger and family-oriented audience for short-form video material of many kinds.
“DreamWorksTV is committed to delivering original content, from scripted live-action series based on great characters like Richie Rich, to fresh new animated characters like Jimmy Blue Shorts to vlogs and other short-form content featuring the much beloved Shrek, Po and Puss in Boots,” said Robbins. “We are combining the DreamWorks brand with lessons learned from AwesomenessTV to create content that will be embraced by families everywhere.”
Here are details on the series that will be featured on DreamWorksTV and a promo video. The company also promises that other original series will debut throughout the summer:
OMG – A live-action sketch comedy series featuring up and coming kid comedians.
Record Setter Kids – Hosted by YouTube star JennXPenn, features kids from all over the country who come up with wacky records to break.
Prank My Parents – Kids get a chance to play tricks on their parents in this fun hidden-camera series where kids make all the rules.
Jimmy Blue Shorts – This animated sketch comedy created by Zach Aufdemberg and produced by Oddbot is hosted by talking jean shorts.
Gorillaville – This punny slapstick comedy by Ron Yavnieli centers around three gorillas who wreak havoc, perpetually disturbing the peace in their otherwise idyllic wildlife preserve.
Report Card – “Let’s get newsie” with a top flight anchor team of cardboard cut-ups in a stop-motion series created by Jimbo Matison.
Public Pool – Everything happens at the Puddleton Public Pool. Teenagers! Musclemen! Wimps! Inflatable Rafts! Bad Swimwear! It’s all fodder for fun in this irreverent ensemble comedy by David Fremont (Liquid TV).
Fifi Cat Therapist – Have a seat on the couch and tell all to Fifi, cat therapist extraordinaire. This sassy house-cat tells it like it is to neighborhood animals seeking advice in this animated comedy by Mike Blum (Lilo & Stitch).
Additional series include Watch This, a curated “best-of-the web” shorts, as well as RetroToons, featuring highlights from the Classic Media library.