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YouTube has picked up two new projects for its Red subscription service just as it bows its first slate of originals.
The streamer is adding to its scripted fare with Foursome, an edgy comedy series from DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV starring social media influencers Jenn McAllister and Logan Paul, and has picked up a documentary about transgender beauty vlogger Gigi Gorgeous.
Foursome was created by Selyna Warren and Marissa Shields. The six-episode series stars McAllister as the undeatable Andie who is on a mission to shake her stigma as the younger sister of Paul’s Alec with the help of her three best friends. Rickey Thompson, Meghan Falcone, Cameron Moulene, Brooke Markham and John Milhiser also star.
In a bit of a departure from the teen-friendly fare that YouTube has funded, Foursome is described as exploring hookups, parties and high school drama. Amy York Rubin directs and executive produces alongside Warren, Shields and ATV’s Brian Robbins and Shauna Phelan. Brin Lukens and Scott Levine are producing.
Phelan explains that ATV wanted to create a series that would feel authentic to its teenage audience. “We’re definitely pushing the envelope but it’s, for us, about creating engaging characters and stories that we think will be relevant to our audience,” she says. “This is a topic that our audience wants to hear about.”
The series will use comedy to explore the more dramatic topics. “Even though this relationship has heart as well as some real moments, relationships and hookups are rife with comedy,” she continues.
And although that title, Foursome, has a provocative connotation, she insists that at its core, the series is about Andie and her best friends — another foursome, if you will. “This happens to be a comedy that tackles relationships and sex, but it really, truly is about this core group of four friends,” says Phelan.
YouTube’s other new project tackles the journey of transgender vlogger Gigi Gorgeous. The YouTube star, who’s real name is Giselle Lazzarato, began posting YouTube videos as Gregory Gorgeous in 2008. Her fans, she currently has more than 2.1 million subscribers, followed her transition through her video blogs.
The untitled project, which is being directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple, chronicles her personal journey and struggles along the way, as well as highlighting her private moments with family and friends. The feature-length documentary is being produced by SelectNext and Sander/Moses.
The new originals will debut later this year on YouTube Red, the streamer’s $10-a-month service that offers ad-free viewing and access to YouTube Music. Non-subscribers will be able to see previews but will not be able to watch the originals in their entirety. YouTube is, however, offering a free 30-day trail to new subscribers.
The pickups come on the same day that YouTube is launching its first slate of Red originals. Those include Lilly Singh documentary A Trip to Unicorn Island, action comedy film Lazer Team, reality series Scare PewDiePie and teen movie Dance Camp.
“We’ve never seen PewDiePie more scared or seen Lilly crush it as hard as she does on her world tour,” writes YouTube head of original content Susanne Daniels in a blog post. “We’re blown away by Meg DeAngelis‘ moves and the way the Dance Camp crew breaks it down. And who ever thought the human race could rely on the Rooster Teeth guys to save them from an alien invasion? We love these new features and couldn’t be more excited to share them with YouTube Red members today.”
YouTube has also revealed that previously announced originals — including CollegeHumor’s Bad Internet and reality series Fight of the Living Dead — will launch over the next few months.
12:30 p.m. Updated with quote from Phelan and additional details about both projects.
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