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Will Smith series leads YouTube originals

YouTube is launching a fitness series with actor Will Smith as part of its upcoming slate, which comprises five unscripted titles and one scripted show.

Will Smith (photo Max Morse/TechCrunch via CC)

From Westbrook Media and YouTube Originals, Best Shape of My Life (working title) follows Smith as he, upon reaching middle age, embarks on a fitness journey to rebuild his body.

The six-part series, which will premiere next year, is directed and showrun by Dexton Deboree (Unbanned, Promiseland).

Also from Westbrook Media is Noted (w/t), a four-part performance docuseries featuring singer Alicia Keys. The show will premiere this summer.

Elsewhere in YouTube’s line-up is docuseries Ice Cold, which uses the prism of hip-hop jewellery to explore deeper issues around racial inequity and the American Dream.

Exhibited as a collection of four short episodes, the series premieres this summer. It is directed by Karam Gill and and coproduced by Quality Films, Universal Music Group’s Mercury Studios and Polygram Entertainment, MGX Creative and Mass Appeal.

Premiering in June is Recipe for Change (w/t), a one-off special in which Asian American storytellers bring together celebrities, chefs, activists and creators to celebrate Asian/Pacific Islander culture and discuss the recent and historic acts of hate and violence against the community.

Basketball star LeBron James and Maverick Carter will serve as executive producers on the special with their media conglomerate the SpringHill Company. Showrunner Joel Relampagos and director Rich Kim will also exec produce.

The final unscripted series on YouTube’s slate is Barbershop Medicine, a special that explores the impact race and socioeconomic status have on healthcare and longevity.

Drawing from the concept of community medicine, it will bring together musical artist Masego, physicians Dr Italo Brown and Dr Jamie Rutland, and community members in a storied barbershop to discuss today’s most pressing health concern, Covid-19.

Launching this summer, Barbershop Medicine is from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund and is produced by Macro Television Studios and Culture House. Hashim Williams is executive producer and showrunner.

Concluding YouTube’s line-up is season three of Liza on Demand, which will launch later this year. Starring actor Liza Koshy, the scripted series follows the chaotic misadventures of Koshy and her roommates as they wade through the highs and lows of their 20s. Liza on Demand is produced by Above Average.


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