Most fans would love the chance to go on a road trip with YouTube’s awkward older sisters Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart. Now they’ll have a chance to do just that on “#HeyUSA.” Announced during Grace’s VidCon keynote today, the show will feature Grace and Mamrie discovering “America’s Best-Kept Secrets” with guidance from their fans on social media.
The show, described by Grace as “a modern day choose your own adventure,” will depend on fans and “local experts” to guide the duo as they discover America’s hidden gems. Both ladies will be filmed by a camera crew, but the show will also incorporate more familiar vlog footage created by the stars themselves. Grace and Mamrie will also be tweeting and Instagramming throughout the trip to keep viewers in the loop.
The show will rely heavily on interaction between the stars and their social media audience. The trip is only loosely planned out, and Twitter will be used to solicit suggestions for destinations as well as to help find local experts who can guide Grace and Mamrie to local attractions. Fans might may also want to be on the lookout for a surprise visit from the duo if they happen to be passing through.
“This show is so exciting and innovative. Not only do I get to travel the US with my best friend, I get to experience places and things I wouldn’t have seen had it not been for the help of our audience… It’s completely interactive so if it sucks it’s not our fault! Perfect scenario!” Helbig joked in a statement released earlier today.
The show is being produced by Astronauts Wanted, the transmedia production company responsible for another popular interactive web series, “@SummerBreak.” “#HeyUSA” will employ a similarly immersive social media structure. The goal, according to executive producer Billy Parks, is to “collapse the distance” between production and airing so that the show feels more real and immediate. The show will also be guided by fan interactions and fan responses enabled the production team to give the fans more of what they want. “We can use the data, and the social response, to see what the fans respond to,” says Parks.
Viewers can follow the road trip as it unfolds in short 3-4 minute episodes. These short episodes will appear in nearly real time and correspond with the online conversation taking place between the stars and their social audience. Since the show’s itinerary is only loosely planned, it will rely heavily on the proven improvisational skills of its stars as well as the social media savvy they’ve acquired as two of YouTube’s most recognizable stars.
Short real-time snippets will go live on July 1, starting with an already filmed trip to Alaska. The rest of the show will unfold live throughout the summer with long-form episodes going up in early September once the trip winds down.
Will you be tweeting along with “#HeyUSA”?