17 year-old Nebraska native Lucas Cruikshank created a character Fred, that, like him or loathe him, made him the youngest ever to sit atop YouTube’s most subscribed channels list. (He’s since been overtaken by 20 year-old Ryan Higa aka NigaHiga) And that venerable high-pitched “6 year-old” Fred Figglehorn’s incredibly popular videos even led to a feature movie around the character that was picked up by Nickelodeon as a TV movie to air September 17.
Today Nickelodeon confirmed that Cruikshank will now star in his very own half-hour TV comedy series on the network called Marvin, Marvin. The show is part of an overall talent deal the network signed with Cruikshank who appeared in a recent guest spot on its web-inspired comedy iCarly. Jon Ross (10 Things I Hate About You) will create and executive produce the series that had Cruikshank staring as Marvin, “a new kid in school who is a bit odd.”
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For web video followers, it’s one of the first major poachings of a top YouTuber—over 530 million views on his channel alone—by a traditional TV network. Most insiders have known for a while now that the young comedian was looking to move more into traditional TV and film, aided by his reps at UTA and The Collective. But for YouTube, it’s a sign that its top talent may be up for grabs by hungry cable networks looking to siphon off some of those millions of young viewers.
So far Fred’s channel continues to produce videos, though at a less frequent rate than before. From what we hear Nickelodeon is using the channel to drive interest in the film before it premieres next month. But no word yet on how long the Figglehorn will keep it up once Marvin is in full swing.