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The series, which dropped on Snapchat on Friday morning, will feature the actor and musician hanging out in his garage during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Over 12 episodes, Smith will talk to his family, special guests like Tyra Banks and everyday people who are also practicing social distancing by staying at home.
Snap head of original content Sean Mills says that the idea for the show came out of conversations between Snapchat and Smith’s production company, Westbrook Media, about how the constraints imposed by the global shutdown would birth “new forms of creativity and new ways to tell stories.”
“Will was feeling a lot of pent-up creative energy and was excited to do something with it in a new and different way,” Mills adds.
Will From Home is part of Snapchat’s response to the pandemic. The app’s Discover platform now has a dedicated section for coronavirus-related news and updates from partners including CNN, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. The company says more than 68 million users have viewed content about COVID-19 on the platform, which has seen an overall increase in engagement.
“Our first reaction was to shore up the news coverage and really deliver on that,” Mills says. “But after a week-and-a-half or so, we started to see a huge surge in interest in entertainment content, especially humor and comedy.”
He adds, “The kinds of things that the community wants are things that are positive, that feel empowering. It’s not just about escapism but it’s about actually what is the good that can come of a challenging moment in time. Will From Home fits perfectly with that.”
Smith, who is active across all social media including Instagram and YouTube, has made shows for several platforms. He bungee jumped out of a helicopter live on YouTube, where he has nearly 8 million followers, for his 50th birthday. He also starred in Will Smith’s Bucket List for Facebook and is set to produce stand-up comedy show This Joka for Quibi.
Will From Home is produced by Westbrook Media. New episodes will stream on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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