YouTube’s new subscription service YouTube Red is ramping up its programming slate, ordering its first drama pilot, Impulse from Doug Liman, along with a sci-fi action series from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. The service also renewed Joey Graceffa’s popular reality adventures series Escape the Night for a second season, as well as handing another season to Foursome, the sequel to Burnie Burns’s Lazer Team movie, and greenlighting a season two of Scare PewDiePie.
All were announced today at Mipcom’s Media Mastermind section during a keynote by Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Content for YouTube. She was joined by Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs and Burnie Burns, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Rooster Teeth.
Hourlong action-thriller Impulse from Universal Cable Productions, marks the first deal between UCP and YouTube. Liman (Bourne Identity, Live. Die. Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow) is attached to direct and executive produce along with Hypnotic’ s producers David Bartis and Gene Klein (Suits). Jeffrey Lieber (Lost, NCIS: New Orleans) is writing the pilot which is scheduled for production before the end of year. Based on the third novel in the Jumper series by Steven Gould, Impulse features a rebellious 16-year-old girl who has always felt different from her peers and has longed to escape from her seemingly quaint small town. When a local drug dealer attempts to assault her, she discovers she has the extraordinary ability to teleport. This newfound power confirms her conviction that she really was different from everybody else, but it now makes her the focus of those who want to control her.
YouTube also ordered eight episodes of a sci-fi action thiller from Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions, and Studio71, the digital entertainment company and multichannel network of ProSiebenSat.1. Set in the not-too-distant future, the half hour series, tentatively named Lifeline, is about a little known life insurance company that sends its agents forward 33 days in time to prevent the accidental deaths of its clients. The company’s best man, Charlie Hooks, has never missed a save – until one case changes his life forever. Corridor Digital’s Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer will direct, with premiere slated for 2017 on YouTube Red.
“This series makes good on our commitment to tap into the biggest and brightest emerging creators on YouTube,” said Daniels. “He is a global super star, and while you may not think of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as a big YouTube star, he has certainly become one in a few short months. We are thrilled to have him driving this very ambitious series forward.”
Renewed for Season 2, Joey Graceffa popular reality adventure series Escape the Night has generated over 9.2 million views and 1.1 billion social impressions since its June premiere. Season two will again star Joey Graceffa, and will transport 10 YouTube creators into a new whodunit murder mystery. The second season will once again be produced by Brian Graden Media and Graceffa and will debut on YouTube Red in 2017. Graceffa is repped by Addition, Sunshine Sachs & UTA.
“I hope it’s clear that YouTube is all in on Originals,” said Daniels “We want to invest in the passion of our incredibly talent creators, match them with world-class visionary producers, tell stories that entertain a vibrant community. We believe in this business and are deeply committed to supporting the shows and creative talent that it fuels.”
“I believe YouTube is embarking on something big, a new chapter in its history that has the potential to change the way people think about its brand in a way that can benefit all of us here,” said Beggs.