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YouTube viewers could soon be getting an even bigger dose of Jake Paul.
The at-times controversial vlogger is developing a talk show with YouTube Red, sources familiar with the project tell The Hollywood Reporter. Although YouTube Red doesn’t have traditional programming blocks, the project is expected to have a late-night variety show feel.
Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens’ Propagate Content is producing the untitled series alongside Five All in the Fifth Entertainment, with Douglas Banker executive producing. Gavin Purcell, the showrunner on Sarah Silverman’s Hulu talk show I Love You, America, has been tapped to executive produce the pilot, which could be shot as early as May, according to sources. Paul will host and executive produce.
“Last year, we engaged in early development deals with a handful of YouTube creators as part of our normal process to evaluate new creative ideas,” a YouTube spokeswoman said Thursday in a statement confirming the project. “There is no series order currently in place.”
Paul, 21, rose to fame on the now-defunct app Vine for his comedic videos. He has since transitioned much of his audience to YouTube, where his 14 million subscribers watch daily videos of his everyday antics and over-the-top stunts performed with his friends — a group of up-and-coming talent he established called Team 10 who live and create videos together — and his brother, Logan.
The one-time star of Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark, Paul last year was involved in a dust-up with his neighbors after they complained about the stunts taking over their residential street. A news report from Los Angeles TV station KTLA, in which Paul appeared unapologetic about the incident, further escalated the tensions and ultimately led to his departure from Bizaardvark.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last summer, Paul acknowledged, “Looking back, I see why everyone was like, ‘Yo, this kid sucks.’ ‘Cause I look super immature.”
Paul’s brother, Logan, more recently came under fire for posting a video in Japan’s Aokigahara forest that showed the blurred image of a suicide victim. In the wake of that video, YouTube removed Logan from its premium advertising tier, Google Preferred, and indefinitely suspended all original projects with him, including a sequel to the sci-fi film The Thinning. YouTube also said that he would not appear on future episodes of the Red comedy Foursome. Logan has since apologized and said he would donate $1 million to suicide prevention. More than a month after the incident, YouTube temporarily suspended all advertising on his channel following a series of videos that the streamer called “unsuitable for advertisers.”
For his part, Jake Paul recently told Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan that he sees himself “as a role model, but, like, an imperfect role model.” Following the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he traveled to Florida to speak to survivors and advocate for gun safety. It is unclear whether Paul will look to touch on current events like the Parkland shooting on the talk show or stick to the more light-hearted antics typically found on his channel.
Paul is repped by WME, Kevin Gould and Stone Genow Smelkinson Binder & Christopher. Purcell is repped by UTA.
March 29, 8:45 p.m. Updated with additional information about the project.
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