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With 2 scripted YouTube series, BuzzFeed looks to move beyond viral videos
The first one, ‘Broke,’ debuts Sept. 28.
BuzzFeed‘s video efforts have primarily been focused on short, shareable, viral-friendly clips. They’ve been enormously successful, generating 3 billion views a month on YouTube, but they’re not the type of thing that will win you a prime booth at the Grill or golden statuettes during awards season.
That was supposed to change when the BuzzFeed Motion Pictures (BFMP) division was launched in 2014 with veteran producer Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Erin Brockovich) at the helm, but no feature films or TV shows emerged from BuzzFeed—just more viral videos.
Now BuzzFeed’s long-form drought is finally coming to an end. On Wednesday the company announced that YouTube has ordered full seasons of its scripted comedy series Broke and the competition show Squad Wars from BFMP as exclusives for its subscription service YouTube Red.
Broke will debut on Sept. 28, and Squad Wars will follow sometime in 2017.
“Working with YouTube to create big, global shows makes perfect sense to us,” said Matthew Henick, head of development for BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, in a statement. “Our talent has been building loyal fanbases on the platform for years and we’re excited to build premium series for the Red service.”
Earlier this year, BuzzFeed announced it was partnering with Warner Bros. to develop the feature Brother Orange, based on BuzzFeed senior editor Matt Stopera’s real-life mission to retrieve his stolen iPhone, which took him all the way to China. But Broke will be the first project from BFMP to see the light of day.