Endemol Beyond USA, the digital video unit of the TV production giant, is debuting online-video “hub” sites featuring original and reality programming, with first-look video promos featuring director Kevin Smith and producer Anthony Bregman to be shown during the webcast of tonight’s Streamy Awards.
BeyondReality’s first show will feature Emmy winner Drea de Matteo, (The Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy) and be called The #Muthaship. It is set to debut in the last season of Sons of Anarchy. A second original show, True Internet Tales produced by Michael Lynn, the Emmy-nominated producer of E!’s True Hollywood Stories, is debuting later in the fall. Endemol Beyond USA President Will Keenan, who will also produce, said the show “uncovers the real stories behind the Internet’s biggest stars and memes.”
The channel will feature not only exclusive shows and online video blogs (vlogs), but also online or remixed versions of some of Endemol’s many reality formats from traditional television.
BeyondOriginals is crowdsourcing programming genres including horror, comedy and drama, and will give online creators the chance to compete for development deals.
“Narrative storytelling has been part of the DNA during my entire entertainment career,” said Keenan, a former Maker Studios VP. “Since almost every other online video content platform is now producing their own new series, we’re going ‘beyond’ all the other “Originals” by plugging into, and engaging with, the global community of online storytellers, and also by premiering on our #beyondoriginals channel groundbreaking new original series we’re developing internally as starring vehicles for digital and traditional stars.”
Two of Endemol Beyond’s biggest stars, musician Pitbull and lifestyle and beauty maven Michelle Phan, were among the four ICONS honored during a dinner Friday night as part of the extended Streamys festivities, and the site picked up seven Streamy nominations, among the top 10 this year. Other stars connected with the site include comedian Brittany Furlan, a major presence on Vine with four Streamy nominations this year, and 11-year-old rapper MattyB.