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Popular Twitch streamer Guy “Dr Disrespect” Beahm IV has secured a deal with Skybound Entertainment, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s multi-platform production company, to develop a narrative scripted television series based on his character.
The new deal, packaged by Skybound, Beahm’s agency, CAA, and his management, Boom.tv, is the first of its kind for a Twitch personality. Over the past few years, Beahm — as his over-the-top, WWE-inspired alter ego Dr Disrespect — has become one of the top streamers on the Amazon-owned platform, where he boasts more than 3.8 million followers and has amassed more than 100 million views.
“We are pretty early in terms of the creative and the direction we want to take it,” Beahm tells The Hollywood Reporter, but mentions they’ve had “some early discussions around animation.”
“There are lots of incredibly talented streamers, but there’s something special about what Guy has done in creating this character,” says Skybound co-founder and CEO David Alpert. “We really believe there’s a unique world around the doctor.” While Alpert is more demure in that description of Beahm’s creation, he does also note that “Dr Disrespect is largest figure to ever be in the video game space in the history of the world,” a bit of on-brand marketing for the character’s braggadocio persona.
Both Beahm and Alpert note that the show will focus on “how the doctor became the doctor” and the backstory of the Dr Disrespect character. “You can’t fully explore that it in the stream itself, but getting inside that narrative is what got us excited about working with [Beahm],” says Alpert. The show is still in its early creative stages and does not have a network yet.
“The one thing I try to focus on is making sure everything stays consistent,” adds Beahm. “You don’t want to lose the authenticity of the character.”
Beahm says he doesn’t see himself as a pioneer for streamers, but he does admit the deal signals a big step for fellow streaming talent. “We’re trying to take things to the next level and hopefully we’ll have an effect that reverberates and legitimizes the world of streaming,” he says.
“Every time a new medium emerges it’s dismissed,” adds Alpert. “Rock ‘n’ roll was referred to as noise when it first emerged, but today my kids are taught that the Beatles are geniuses.”
Streamers have landed big paydays this year in the burgeoning war between platforms to sign exclusive deals. The trend kicked off in August when Twitch superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins announced he had signed with competitor Mixer, Microsoft’s streaming platform, in a deal rumored to be worth upwards of $50 million. A number of other high-profile streamers have shuffled places between YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and Mixer in the months since.
Streaming is a full-time job for Beahm, currently, where he appears live each week, Monday through Friday, for upwards of eight hours. “That is the bread and butter right now,” he says. Twitch, his primary platform, has been “extremely flexible,” he says, with providing openings for him to work on his new project with Skybound.
While the focus currently is on the television show, Beahm says that there “could be some opportunities that run parallel” to the series in the future, noting Skybound’s work in other media, such as comics and games.
Ultimately, Beahm’s goal is that of his character’s: “World domination, baby!”
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