YouTube’s originals slate is now focused on three areas — music, learning and personality-driven programming — coming after it recently canceled a bunch of scripted shows.
It’s still in the scripted game, announcing the renewal of “Cobra Kai” for season 3, but much of its output from here on out will be content featuring celebrities and YouTube stars, as well as live entertainment events. At the YouTube Brandcast ad event Thursday at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, the video platform announced new projects centered on the new programming lens.
Those included a renewal of Kevin Hart’s unscripted comedy “What the Fit” for season 3; documentaries about Latin music star Maluma and Paris Hilton; a deal to live-stream Lollapalooza this summer; YouTube’s first interactive series, featuring gamer and influencer Markiplier; a slate of non-fiction learning series; and a “top-secret project” with singer Justin Bieber.
YouTube also announced details around its promise to make all of its original series and specials available for free, ad-supported viewing — whereas many of its originals have been behind the YouTube Premium paywall.
Here’s a rundown of the YouTube’s upcoming programming:
- “Kevin Hart: What the Fit” Season 3 (premiering next year): In the unscripted comedy, Hart merges ridiculous workouts with hilarious special guest celebrity appearances. Past episodes have featured Conan O’Brien, Jennifer Garner, Rebel Wilson and Liza Koshy. The first two seasons of “What the Fit” have driven over 275 million total views across all the episodes and related content to date. The free-to-watch series runs on Hart’s LOL Network on YouTube. It’s executive produced by Hart, Matt Kunitz, David Shumsky, Rebecca Shumsky Quinn, Mark Harris and Jeff Clanagan in association with Lionsgate.
- “Maluma: Lo Que Era, Lo Que Soy, Lo Que Sere” (premiering June 5): Directed by Jessy Terrero, the 90-minute feature documentary follows Maluma by tracing his humble origins in Colombia and evolution to selling out stadiums worldwide. Featuring exclusive, revealing, interviews with family, friends and Maluma himself. (Watch a teaser trailer for the documentary below or at this link.)
- Expanded Lollapalooza Coverage: Following its record-setting 2019 Coachella live-stream, YouTube is expanding its 2019 live music festival lineup to include coverage of Lollapalooza this summer (set for Chicago from Aug. 1-4). In addition to the curated live stream over the four-day festival, for the first time ever, fans will get additional custom content giving unique access to the festivals’ artists.
- “A Heist With Markiplier” (fall 2019): Mark Fischbach of YouTube channel MarkiplierGame will debut YouTube original’s first interactive special, which will let viewers control his life-or-death decisions in a genre-bending museum heist. The show will begin production in late spring, in partnership with Otter Media’s Rooster Teeth. It’s a follow-up to Fischbach’s interactive project “A Date With Markiplier.”
- Paris Hilton documentary (premiering 2020): Film promising to uncover the “unfiltered side” of the celebrity and her famous family. Paris will speaks publicly for the first time about “the heartbreaking moments in her life that forged who she is today,” according to YouTube. Directed by Alexandra Dean and produced by Hilton along with Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman via Industrial Media’s Intellectual Property Corporation banner.
- “Claire” (premiering fall 2019): From Oscar-winning filmmaker Nick Reed, the documentary features Claire Wineland, a YouTube creator who died last September from cystic fibrosis at the age of 21. Claire had spent thousands of hours in hospital rooms pondering the meaning of life and believed our pain “is because most of us don’t know why we are here.”
- Dude Perfect documentary (premiering 2019): YouTube trick-shot specialists Dude Perfect will step into the world of the five Texas buddies — Coby, Cory, Garrett, Cody, and Tyler — as they embark on their first national tour this summer.
YouTube also has a slate of “learning” series:
- “BookTube” (premiering summer 2019): Follow-on series to the special with Michelle Obama that drew 1.5 million views. The monthly special will feature prominent authors and personalities discussing their best-selling books with top YouTubers.
- “Could You Survive the Movies” (premiering October 2019): YouTube creator Jake Roper hosts series blending scientific exploration with narrative storytelling — presenting thought experiments such as what would happen to your body if you actually jumped into a DeLoreon and went back in time a la “Back to the Future.” Produced by Ample Entertainment.
- “Retro Tech” (Premiering December 2019): As previously announced, the six-episode unscripted series featuring YouTube creator Marques Brownlee will follow him as he unboxes, reviews, and reveals the greatest vintage tech-driven products that defined pop culture. premiere in December. From Vox Media Studios and YouTube.
- “Show Me the Evidence” (working title): Premiering in fall 2019, the series from Media Studios is a host-driven, large-scale exploration of human curiosities.
- “The School of Life” (working title): Also set for a fall 2019 premiere, YouTube philosophy channel the School of Life collaborates with a group of diverse YouTube creators to explore some of the greatest philosophical questions of our time in series of standalone films. Creators featured in season one include The Martinez Twins, Hannah Stocking, Luzu, Lady Leshur and Adam Saleh.
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