Yahoo Expands Programming With Simon Cowell ‘Ultimate DJ’ Competition, Scripted Series

Upfronts 2015: Naomi Campbell, Michelle Rodriguez bolster Yahoo’s star-studded slate


Yahoo is expanding its live content and scripted programming with big names in 2015, the digital company announced at its newfront presentation on Monday.

On Yahoo Live, Simon Cowell returns to live music competition series with “Ultimate DJ,” a global Electronic Music show produced with Patrick Moxey, Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, and Kelly Belldegrun. Set to air on Yahoo Live with voting via Tumblr, the winner will be crowned the Ultimate DJ and be offered an opportunity to headline a major Electronic Music festival and a record contract with Ultra Records & Sony Music.

The iHeartRadio concert series comes to Yahoo Live as well, with expanded coverage of the Ultimate Pool Party, iHeartRadio Music Festival, and Jingle Ball, as well as album release parties and shows from individual acts.

Katie Couric continues in her role as anchor of Yahoo News Live, and “Everybody’s Business,” hosted by Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer will air weekly.

Bolstering Yahoo’s fledgling Digital Magazine venture, which it began last year, are supermodel Naomi Campbell‘s “I Am Naomi” and “Riding Shotgun with Michelle Rodriguez.” The digital company has also picked up a video version of the controversial food blog “Thug Kitchen,” which features two young white Californians invoking “street” language in their vegan recipes.

Yahoo also adds another scripted series to its slate, “The Pursuit,” a comedy from Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark and Beth McCarthy Miller.

Yahoo NewFront highlights:

Yahoo Live
“Ultimate DJ” – Created by Syco Entertainment and executive produced by Simon Cowell, Patrick Moxey of Ultra Records and Syco Entertainment’s Kelly Belldegrun, Ultimate DJ will be co-produced by Syco Entertainment and Done and Dusted and also executive produced by Ian Stewart and Hamish Hamilton, who will also executive direct. Ultimate DJ will see some of the hottest new Electronic Music DJ artists from around the world competing in this live global series. Set to air on Yahoo Live with voting via Tumblr, the winner will be crowned the Ultimate DJ and be offered an opportunity to headline a major Electronic Music festival and a record contract with Ultra Records & Sony Music.

“Live Nation & Yahoo: Year 2” – The Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Live has become the online destination for live music. In our second year, we’ll go beyond live streaming the most anticipated concerts to also broadcasting the world’s most acclaimed music festivals.
One of the festivals we’ll feature is Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas- one of the world’s largest music festivals, which draws over 400k attendees, selling out without announcing a single artist.

“iHeartRadio Concert Series” – We’re dialing up our partnership with iHeartMedia, as Yahoo Live will broadcast all of iHeartMedia’s top events, including the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party, the iHeartRadio Music Festival and Jingle Ball, in addition to album release parties and concerts performed by a roster of smash hit artists.

“Everybody’s Business” – A Yahoo Finance live weekly show that delivers the smartest take on the stories that users really want to know. Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer will lead a cast of contributors including Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp, OZY CEO Carlos Watson, Fusion Senior Editor Felix Salmon and LinkedIn New Economy Editor Caroline Fairchild to discuss the intersection of business, technology and culture.

“Yahoo News Live” – A new daily live broadcast show from Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric and the Yahoo News team, including News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga, Political Columnist Matt Bai, and Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff as they bring a big story live and on-demand every day. Insights about top news stories will be accompanied by interviews, analysis and access to Yahoo News’ world class news team.

Yahoo Digital Magazines
“I Am Naomi” – A Yahoo Style series featuring fashion icon Naomi Campbell, offering viewers a backstage pass as she spends time with the world’s most powerful and influential people. From Executive Producer Naomi Campbell and produced by Untitled Matador Content.

“Riding Shotgun with Michelle Rodriguez” – A Yahoo Auto series with actress Michelle Rodriguez jumping behind the wheel and into the driver’s seat to put the fastest cars to the test as she gears down and weighs in on their performance. From Executive Producer Michelle Rodriguez and produced by Untitled Matador Content.

“Thug Kitchen” – A Yahoo Food series featuring millennial bloggers and best-selling authors of “The Thug Kitchen Official Cookbook,” Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway, in which they share their edgy take on healthy living through simple recipes, cooking with locally-sourced ingredients and insisting on fresh food.

Yahoo Screen Originals

“The Pursuit” is a new series about what it means to be in your late 20s in 2015 in Manhattan. Some people say millennials have lost the destination, but maybe they’re just the first ones smart enough to question the journey. As an edgier, 21st century take on Friends in the era of social media, we follow this group of characters in pursuit of what their generation desires: success, love, material wealth, happiness….or maybe some, all, or none of the above. “The Pursuit” is from executive producers Scott Stuber (Ted, Identity Thief, The Break-Up, Role Models) and Dylan Clark (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Heat) and director and executive producer Beth McCarthy Miller (Saturday Night Live, Modern Family.)