Yahoo, Electus, CollegeHumor Team Up for Sports Web Series, 'Blindsided'

5:00 AM PST 01/13/2012 by Michael O'Connell
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New York Knicks' Landry Fields

The 10-part collaboration, screening on Yahoo Sports, will showcase pranks played on athletes and fans.

Yahoo is set to announce the latest effort in its growing portfolio of original programming on Friday morning.

Teaming with IAC's Electus and CollegeHumor, the portal will debut Blindsided on Jan. 19. The 10-part series documents Punk'd-style pranks on athletes and sports fans and will live on the website's popular Yahoo Sports page.

"What's really unique about it, and unique to the Yahoo development process, is that Blindsided marries creative concept and builds on what our audience is interested in and what they already click on from the front page," Yahoo VP and head of video programming and originals Erin McPherson told The Hollywood Reporter.

The series, sponsored exclusively by Dr. Pepper Ten, will document every step of the way as the players -- from the NFL, NBA and MLB -- conceive, create and execute the pranks. The premiere follows New York Knicks' shooting guard Landry Fields, with subsequent outings showcasing Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice and Bryant Mckinnie.

It marks another collaboration with Ben Silverman's Electus, with which Yahoo most recently announced a comedy channel fronted by Bill Maher.

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"They have great familiarity with how our network works and how we program and curate content," said McPherson. "They understand us and we understand them. They bring great talent and we bring programing and distribution."

McPherson also notes that 2012 will find the company focusing more and more on storytelling. Just last week they announced Electric City, a science-fiction show created and voiced by Tom Hanks.

"I think the Hanks program is really unique in that its not only episodic, you can watch all 20 at once have a 90-minute feature experience," she said. "Those kinds of formats that are really flexible, we're going to be seeing more and more of -- not just on Yahoo, but in the medium."

And with the success of different projects, Yahoo says it's fielding more pitches than ever.

"The web is no longer where an unsalable format goes to die," said McPhereson. "It's becoming a first spot for Hollywood talent, and we're seeing that more and more because we aren't bound by a lot of the structures of traditional media."

Yahoo Sports recently 53.2 million unique visitors according to ComScore, the highest month for a sports site recorded on the Internet.

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