Just because Astronauts Wanted isn’t presenting at the NewFronts in New York City (May 2–13), it doesn’t mean it can’t roll out new programming. Today, the “next gen” studio announced a slate of eight new original series, starring a lineup of top digital influencers including Kian Lawley & JC Caylen, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Kingsley, Alexa Losey and Hannah Witton, that takes the company into new genres such as food, fashion and sketch comedy.
Launched in 2013, as a joint venture between Judy McGrath, former Chairperson/CEO of MTV Networks, and Sony Music Entertainment, Astronauts Wanted has specialized in mobile-friendly, cross-platform programming such as the travel series “HeyUSA,” starring Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart, and its spin-off “HeyUSAx,” the talkers “Girl on Girl” and “Tawk” (hosted by Nora Lum), and the reality challenge show “ANXT.”
The company has also has produced “transmedia” series that tell stories across multiple platforms, including “@SummerBreak” and “SnapperHero,” produced in partnership with The Chernin Group, Fullscreen and sponsor AT&T, and the pilot for the dark psychological drama “Socio,” created by Bernie Su (“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” “Emma Approved”) and produced with his Canvas Media Studios.
Astronauts Wanted new original content slate includes:
“H8TERS.” Kian Lawley and JC Caylen play their You Tube-famous selves, as well as their biggest haters, Frank and Zweeb, and a host of other characters, in this “meta-scripted” comedy in the spirit of “Portlandia.”
“Underbelly.” YouTube star Timothy DeLaGhetto (pictured, top) gives a late-night, booze-soaked, trash-talking tour of the best spots for hangover eats across the country, picked by fans.
“Smeared.” Hosted by YouTube star Kingsley, “Smeared” is an absurd, anything goes news and comedy sketch show pointing out “the ridiculous, the mock-worthy and the downright dumbass” in the week’s news.
“For the Win.” A series focusing one-of-a-kind sports including ostrich racing, subway acrobatics and wind dancing. Fans vote on their favorites, and the winning crew gets to fly to L.A. for an exhibition match in a custom-built arena.
“Fleek Peek.” Music video director Hannah Lux Davis (Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande), helms this “transformation tutorial” that gives first-hand looks at what it takes to be a famous pop star, from the glam-squads and the bod-squads to personal development coaches and choreographers.
“The Music Stopped But We Kept Dancing.” A scripted dramedy starring Alexa Losey, billed as “Gen Z’s answer to ‘Breakfast Club’ meets ‘Cuckoo’s Nest,’” it explores the lives of six teens in an exclusive beachside treatment facility for youth from high-profile families.
“Runaway.” A scripted series by writer/director Katharine O’Brien (the film “Automatic Hate” and the Deleon Tequila concert series), it takes viewers into the life and world of Instagram darling Zoe as she hits the road with high school friends in search of freedom following a public meltdown at a fan convention.
“Girl On Girl.” Hosted by YouTuber and sex-positive educator Hannah Witton, “Girl On Girl” puts a feminist twist on the daytime talk show, addressing questions like “Will I get kicked out of feminism if I get breast implants?” and “Are dating apps the end of romance?”
“When we started this company, we had aspirations to collaborate with this really interesting new generation of creators and top talent. From Nora Lum (aka Awkwafina) to Bernie Su, and now with Kian and JC, Timothy, Kingsley, Alexa, Hannah D., Katherine and Hannah W — they reflect the spirit and creativity of their fans, which is right where we want to be,” said Astronauts Wanted president McGrath in a statement.