YouTubers on TV: Who’s Making The Jump?


It’s been a long time coming, but it seems that 2015 might be the year that YouTubers finally take television by storm. The last few years have seen a slow trickle of crossovers from the digital space to traditional TV, with creators like The Fine Bros and Epic Meal Time adapting their proven formulas for networks like Nickelodeon and A&E. The increasing visibility of YouTubers in the mainstream and the smash success of digital crossover series like Comedy Central’s Broad City have touched off a YouTuber gold rush. Suddenly it seems that every network is anxious to have a popular YouTube creator on their schedule. The result? Some of the biggest names on YouTube are developing pilots, shooting sitcoms, and prepping to host talk shows. To keep you ahead of the curve we rounded up every YouTuber TV project you can look forward to this year.

What’s New

The Grace Helbig Project: This is the one most people are buzzing about. After Chelsea Handler took her “talents” to Netflix, the E! network wisely decided to look to the internet for her replacement. Grace Helbig will bring the razor sharp wit and awkward big sister sensibility that she refined on YouTube to the hosts chair on her own nightly talk show. Unlike some of the shows on this list that are still in development, Grace’s E! debut is less than two months away. The Grace Helbig Project premieres in April!


Losin’ It: Anyone familiar with Shane Dawson will know that one of his first videos cost him his job. The YouTube comedian and aspiring filmmaker shot one of his earliest videos in the Jenny Craig weight loss center, where he was working at the time. The company didn’t find the video as funny as Shane’s online fans and they gave him the boot, but something tells me he isn’t regretting it. Shane is currently developing a single camera sitcom (think The Office) for NBC about his experiences working in the weight loss industry. Something tells me Jenny Craig isn’t going to find the comparison especially flattering.


Cuckoo: Just yesterday we learned that our beloved Flula was taking on the starring role in Cuckoo, an NBC adapatation of a British sitcom about an ordinary family who has their world shaken up by an eccentric foreigner. I can’t think of a better role for the inimitable Flula Borg. This one is also currently being developed by NBC.


Todrick: Todrick Hall made his name on YouTube remixing popular Disney fairytales with a touch of hip hop whimsy. MTV aims to take viewers behind the scenes with Todrick, an unscripted reality series that will reportedly focus on Hall’s creative process and the work that goes into his various blockbuster digital projects. This one is a must see for anyone who wants an up close look at the real work that goes into being a YouTube star.


Untitled Ashley Skidmore/Lyle Friedman Project: This one doesn’t have a title yet but I have a feeling it’s going to be epic. Ashley Skidmore and Lyle Friedman, the creators behind the micro-web series Hot Mess Moves, are developing a half hour female-centric buddy comedy with the guidance of none other than Transparent creator Jill Soloway. Given the success of shows like Broad City which spotlight female friendship, the meteoric success of Soloway’s Amazon series, and the comic talents of Skidmore and Friedman, this one looks like it’ll be a slam dunk for MTV.


Adam Ruins Everything: Comedian Adam Conover first found fame through CollegeHumor with his investigative comedy series Adam Ruins Everything. Now he’s importing the show to a new home on TruTV. Once the home of car chases and dashcam footage, Tru is aiming to offer viewers more scripted comedy and it’s smartly looking to the web for talent.


What’s Back

Broad City: Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer recently brought their hugely popular series Broad City back to Comedy Central for a second season, and this one is even more packed with guest stars, great gags, and Garol than the first. Based on a web series of the same name, Broad City pretty much the gold standard of what a web series to TV crossover can be.


World’s Funniest Fails: Failure has been very good for business, at least as far as FOX is concerned. The network just ordered new episodes of Worlds Funniest Fails, a clip show based on Jukin Media’s Fail Army YouTube series. Hosted by actor Terry Crews, the show dives head first into the wonderful world of fail videos that populate YouTube, serving up a mega dose of flops, falls, and failures to launch.


Mixtake By SoulPancake: Rainn Wilson’s SoulPancake channel has won the hearts of fans and celebs alike with its smart, funny, and surprisingly deep sketches and shows. Much of the channel’s original content is being repurposed for television in the form of Mixtape By Soulpancake on Pivot TV.


Best Daym Takeout: Daymon Patterson won YouTube’s heart with his impassioned paean to the glories of Five Guys. That passion was enough to earn him a show, Best Daym Takeout, on The Travel Channel. Viewers were pretty taken with Daymon’s roving fast food reviews and Travel recently announced that they were renewing the show for a second season.


 Share this article and let us know in the comments which shows you’ll be adding to your watch list.

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