At an intimate, unofficial NewFronts event 21 floors up on New York City’s far west side, Ellen DeGeneres made some very big digital media announcements.
Well, DeGeneres didn’t make them. She was in LA filming her eponymous, nationally syndicated, very well-rated daytime talk show. Jill Braff made most of the announcements instead. She’s General Manager of Ellen Digital Ventures (aka EDV). For the uninitiated, EDV is the self-described “business initiative” created by DeGeneres and the Warner Bros. Television Group under the banner of which resides DeGeneres’ video destination ellentube and the TV host’s growing number of incredibly successful mobile applications (Heads Up! for instance, has been downloaded more than 24 million times to date).
Braff handled the small crowd of advertisers and other industry executives with aplomb as she announced something EDV has never announced before. A programming slate.
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Said new programming slate is part of the also new Ellen Digital Network (which itself now also resides under the banner of EDV). The network is meant to “create a robust, premium cross-platform advertising and integration opportunity for brands to associate with the compelling and engaging original content Ellen produces” across DeGeneres’ YouTube channel (where she receives more than 300 million views per month from over 15.9 million subscribers), show website at EllenTV.com, ellentube, aforementioned mobile applications, and crazy popular social media channels (like Twitter where she has more than 59.2 million followers and Instagram where she has over 28.6 million).
Okay. Now that we’ve gotten the context out of the way, let’s move onto the content. The most exciting aspect of Ellen Digital Network’s programming slate is its development deal with Tyler Oakley. The social media superstar who first appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show back in May 21, 2015 and is in possession of more than 8 million YouTube subscribers, 5.2 million Twitter followers, and 6.2 million Instagram followers is set to collaborate with DeGeneres “on a range of digital projects with an aim toward developing projects for television as well.”
Further details on the Oakley collaboration are scarce, but it’s also only one of seven or so projects that compose Ellen Digital Network’s freshman slate. The rest of the programming is rounded out by a series featuring the native Twitter viral video phenom Damn Daniel, an animated show about Portia de Rossi’s pets, the user-generated program #MadeByYou, the original series about a 4-year-old “whiz kid” named Brielle, a previously announced dancing showdown, and a digital offshoot of one of Ellen’s favorite games Epic or Fail.
“I’m so excited for the Ellen Digital Network,” said DeGeneres in the press announcement. “I’ll get to showcase amazing talents like Tyler Oakley and tWitch. Plus, I’ll finally prove to the world that my pets can speak in human voices.”
And here’s the entire slate, from the release:
- Damn, Daniel Boyz: Ellen teams up with Damn, Daniel creators Joshua Holz and Daniel Lara for an all-new original series featuring the Internet phenomenon debuting on Snapchat later this year.
- Ellen’s Pet Dish: From Warner Bros.’ digital production unit Blue Ribbon Content, Ellen’s Pet Dish is an all-new animated series that will take viewers behind the scenes at Ellen’s home. What do Ellen and Portia’s beloved pets do all day while Ellen and Portia are away? They watch TV of course! Ellen’s Pet Dish chronicles their animated adventures, sassy small talk and comedic commentary on clips from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. There might even be some pet guest stars stopping by…
- She’s Brielle-iant: This original series for ellentube features 4-year-old whiz kid and The Ellen DeGeneres Show favorite Brielle Milla showcasing her smarts on topics ranging from science’s periodic table to the human body, world countries, experiments and more. The first She’s Brielle-iant episode generated more than 18 million views.
- tWitch & Allison’s Dance Challenge: Young dancers go head-to-head for the opportunity of a lifetime in this dance-competition series hosted and judged by famed choreographers Stephen “tWitch” Boss (The Ellen DeGeneres Show DJ) and his wife, Allison Holker of Dancing with the Stars. The first original series for ellentube, tWitch & Allison’s Dance Challenge features six incredible kid dancers vying for a chance to perform on an episode of Ellen. The series has generated more than four million video views to date.
- #MadeByYou: From sleepy pets to mess-making toddlers and more, Ellen loves sharing the best videos sent in by her TV show viewers and online fans. Ellen’s team curates the best of these clips to create weekly episodes of #MadeByYouwhich debut on ellentube. In addition to the user-generated content, compilations also feature best-of moments from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, selected by Ellen and her production team. Episodes currently have more than 32 million views.
- Epic or Fail: Ellen’s favorite game to play on her show has become a new series for ellentube, hosted by beloved shorts-wearing Ellen Show staffer Andy Zenor. The program showcases user-generated videos and allows viewers to play along in real time, guessing whether the results of the stunts in the videos will be an epic success or a massive fail.