Endemol Beyond USA Announces New Digital-First Networks To Launch in 2015
May 7, 2015 - Following the successful global launch of the ICON Network with digital pioneer Michelle Phan, Endemol Beyond USA, the premium content network of Endemol Shine North America, today announced plans to launch two new digital-first networks, including pop culture focused Looksy and Smasher, a sports & gaming network led by digital stars Toby Turner and Jesse Wellens, who combined have nearly 30 million YouTube subscribers.
Endemol Beyond USA is also set to launch two new series with global music superstar Pitbull in 2015—“MasterClass” and “Pitbull Presents.”
The announcements were made today by Vivi Zigler, President, Digital, Brand & Audience Development, Endemol Shine North America and Will Keenan, President, Endemol Beyond USA at Endemol Beyond USA's NewFront presentation in NYC.
The two new premium networks, each with their own distinct voice, are optimized to deliver value for world-class brand partners, social amplification and distributors. Both networks are set to launch in 2015.
“Brands are looking for new ways to work with premier global production partners like Endemol Beyond,” said Zigler. “We have rapidly expanded our capabilities and are ready to leverage our unrivaled worldwide assets in the service of building exceptional value for brands in a way that is premium, targeted and authentic.”
“Thanks to the astonishing draw of Michelle Phan and all of our terrific talent partners, we’ve successfully launched ICON as the first global premium lifestyle network,” says Keenan. “We are now thrilled to add two new digital-first networks, expanding Endemol Beyond USA’s programming reach into sports, gaming and pop culture with some of the biggest names in the business.”
LOOKSY: This exciting new network will fuse the sexy edge of young Hollywood pop culture with the brash humor and relatability of digital stars. With a premium slate of original programming, Looksy will deliver trending news, memes, parodies, fan creations and the fierce fun of everything in “the now."
Looksy will also feature digital headliners including Brittany Furlan and Andy Milonakis, as well as scripted series “Neurotica,” from the writers/producers of “The Office” and HBO’s “Hello Ladies” and reality series “True Internet Tales” from Emmy-nominated producer Michael Lynn (“E! True Hollywood Story”).
SMASHER: Twisting sports and gaming with a dash of irreverent comedy into a new guilty pleasure for millennial men, Smasher’s premium slate features successful international imports “Rule'm Sports” and “Legends of Gaming” from Endemol Beyond UK. The new U.S. versions respectively star digital luminaries Jesse Wellens (“PrankvsPrank”) and Toby Turner (“Tobuscus”), who combined have nearly 30 million YouTube subscribers.
The new U.S. versions respectively star digital luminaries Jesse Wellens (“PrankvsPrank”) and Toby Turner (“Tobuscus”), who combined have nearly 30 million YouTube subscribers.
Endemol Beyond USA is also set to launch several new original series with Pitbull, building upon its relationship with the international music icon, who is already behind the Endemol Beyond series “Gentleman’s Code” and “The Most Bad Ones.” The new series from Pitbull, which are both slated to launch in 2015, include “Masterclass” and “Pitbull Presents.”
“Masterclass” is an original series about living life to the fullest and not being afraid of trying new things. The series features male and female hosts getting schooled by experts in a wide-range of fields including welding, surviving in the wilderness, knife-making and dancing. “Pitbull Presents” introduces the audience to people who play a profound role in Pitbull’s everyday life including a chef, an audio engineer, a “b-boy” dancer, an artist and more.
Endemol Beyond USA has also signed an overall deal with “American Idol” finalist and global music sensation Jessica Sanchez. Sanchez, who has a robust international social media presence, will be featured in a number of new original series across Endemol Beyond USA’s digital networks.
The two new networks will be distributed through a multi-layered, multi-platform ecosystem that is custom-tuned to each network’s audience and advertiser appeal. With an emphasis on brand building and promotion, the top layer is comprised of YouTube and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. A second layer optimized for building long-term fan bases consists of O&O mobile apps, OTT channels, websites, and connected TV platforms.
Here’s a closer look at some of the original content highlights from Looksy and Smasher:
Neurotica: This comedic scripted series is from Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, writers/producers of “The Office,” HBO’s “Hello Ladies” and the hit film “Bad Teacher” with Cameron Diaz. Mitchell Kraut is a twentysomething whose search for love is constantly sabotaged by his own warped yet well-meaning mind.
True Internet Tales: Executive produced by Emmy-nominated “E! True Hollywood Story” producer Michael Lynn, “True Internet Tales” investigates the real stories behind some of the Internet’s most popular personalities, viral videos, and memes.
Bad Girl: Using outrageous disguises and the latest hidden camera technology, superstar Brittany Furlan will go back to her prankster roots and revisit the wacky style of her early iconic Vine videos.
Deep Insider: Featuring digital influencers and traditional media stars, this series gives first-person accounts of celebrity encounters, pop culture trends and current events in a new-style talk show for the digital age.
Legends of Gaming: Star-gamers in this U.S. adaptation of the winning UK-born format face aspiring challengers chosen from the YouTube community by popular vote. Hosted by YouTube and gaming star Toby Turner.
Rule'm Sports: As with its successful UK counterpart starring YouTube sensation KSI, this North American adaptation led by YouTube star Jesse Wellens (“PrankvsPrank”), follows a popular digital hero from this side of the pond as he challenges star-athletes to amazing feats of sporting prowess.
Offsides: In the perfect companion to Rule'm Sports, a top YouTube prankster conspires to prank celebrity athletes. One Prankster. Endless Athletes. Epic Humor.
Milonakis 2.0: A reboot of Andy Milonakis's hit MTV show, the digital series features a variety of irreverent sketches, man-on-the-street segments and music videos starring Andy and his many special guests.
ABOUT ENDEMOL SHINE NORTH AMERICA
Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the newly launched global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies in the U.S. that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. Its Endemol Shine Latino division oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and Mexico. And subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions.
Endemol Shine Group’s companies in North America are behind hit series including Below Deck (Bravo), Bullseye (FOX), Big Brother (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Fake Off (TruTV) Hell on Wheels (AMC), Ink Master (Spike), It Takes a Church (GSN), Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!), Kingdom (DirecTV), Knife Fight (Esquire), MasterChef (FOX), MasterChef Junior (FOX), Restaurant Startup (CNBC), Swamp People (History), The Island (NBC), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), Steve Harvey (NBCU), T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle (VH1), Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge (CMT), Wipeout (ABC) and many more.
Endemol Beyond USA, one of the fastest-growing and award-winning digital networks of 2014, is part of the Endemol Shine Group. As a Premium Content Network, Endemol Beyond USA content is available across more than 20 platforms including YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Roku, TiVo, DailyMotion and Amazon Fire TV. Endemol Beyond is the first Premium Channel Network with hubs in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with plans to expand into Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Endemol Beyond USA produces and distributes premium-quality online content starring influential talent such as Pitbull, Brittany Furlan, Drea De Matteo and Andy Milonakis across lifestyle, comedy, reality and music-themed digital networks. Together Endemol Beyond and digital pioneer Michelle Phan have recently launched ICON, the first worldwide Premium Lifestyle Network. ICON is an online global destination featuring a prolific slate of original programming in beauty, fashion, wellness, DIY, food, human interest stories and travel.