Will Smith fitness doc tops YouTube originals slate

Will Smith

Google-owned video-sharing platform YouTube has announced a new originals slate including one scripted and five unscripted shows, with a fitness series featuring Hollywood actor Will Smith topping the bill.

Produced by Smith’s Westbrook Media label and YouTube Originals, the six-part unscripted series Best Shape Of My Life (working title) is set to debut next year, following the actor as he attempts to rebuild his body back to its very best.

The series is being directed and showrun by Dexton Deboree and marks Will Smith’s second project with YouTube Originals, following Will Smith: The Jump.

Noted (working title), is also being produced in partnership with Westbrook Media, and follows singer-songwriter Alicia Keys as she heads into the studio to record her eighth album, giving her fans a unique insight into her life. The series is due to debut this summer.

Meanwhile, scripted series Liza On Demand will return for its third season later this year, starring actress, producer and creator Liza Koshy and her friends through the highs and lows of their 20s. The series is produced by Above Average with executive producers Liza Koshy, Courtney Carter, Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont, Marc Lieberman, Ally Engelberg, Caroline Miller and Elliot Glazer.

Ice Cold is a docuseries from executive producers MIGOS, Kevin “Coach K.” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas that uses the prism of hip-hop jewellery to explore deeper issues around racial inequity and the American Dream. The series premieres on MIGOS’ YouTube Channel this summer and is co-produced by Quality Films, Universal Music Group’s Mercury Studios and Polygram Entertainment, MGX Creative, and Mass Appeal.

Debuting on 16 June, Recipe For Change (working title) sees Asian American storytellers bring together celebrities, chefs, activists, and creators to celebrate API culture and discuss the recent and historic acts of hate and violence against the API community. LeBron James and Maverick Carter will serve as executive producers on the special with via the SpringHill Company. Michelle Kwan and Dennis Cheng will also executive produce alongside Jamal Henderson and Philip Byron of the SpringHill Company, showrunner Joel Relampagos, and director Rich Kim.

Documentary special Barbershop Medicine will premiere this summer, exploring the impact race and socioeconomic status have on healthcare and longevity. Musical artist Masego, renowned physicians Dr Italo Brown and Dr Jamie Rutland and community members in a storied barbershop will come together to discuss today’s most pressing health concern, COVID-19 and its disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities.

The special is from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund and is executive produced by Charles D. King, Marta Fernandez, Jelani Johnson, and Aisha Corpas Wynn for MACRO Television Studios and Culture House. Hashim Williams is executive producer and showrunner.

Last month, YouTube announced a new slate of UK Originals, with a focus on diversity, sustainability and environmental issues.

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