YouTube has a surprise for soccer fans. The streaming giant has ordered “Training Days” (working title) from production company Fulwell 73. The unscripted series, which is executive produced by James Corden, Ben Winston, Gabe Turner and Leo Pearlman, showcases soccer’s biggest stars on and off the field. The ten-episode original will premier next spring just ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“The concept for the show lends itself well to bringing out a different side to our superstars and feels like the perfect fit with YouTube’s audience,”said Turner. “It’s an opportunity to spend time with some of the biggest names in world football and create some truly memorable moments.”
The new series is part of YouTube’s recent ad-supported programming effort, which launched this summer with Katy Perry’s 96-hour live stream and will continue with unscripted projects from Ellen DeGeneres, Demi Lovato, and Kevin Hart.
“This is our first venture working with European partners to develop advertising-supported premium programming for both global and local audiences,” said YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl. “We want to support them in creating groundbreaking stories and formats and expose them to our billion-and-a-half-strong audience.”
“Training Days,” which will be directed by Turner, adds to the growing roster of programming at Fulwell, including spinoff “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” for Apple;“The Late Late Show with James Corden” for CBS; and TBS’ “Drop the Mic.” Its sports related programing includes Usain Bolt documentary “I Am Bolt,” released theatrically by Universal; “Class of 92,” starring David Beckham; and the BBC’s “Mo Farah: Race of His Life.”
In other YouTube news, it was announced that in just over a year, one in three large customers are now using the company’s unskippable 6-second ad slots, also known as “bumpers ads.” The Google-owned company has seen a 70% increase in number of customers adopting the format from Q1 2017 to Q2 2017.