YouTube has lifted the curtain on more professionally produced programming starring household-name talent, ready to impress both viewers and advertisers. Among the new channels being launched are three in particular that are getting the showcase treatment tonight at YouTube’s Brandcast event for 1000 top advertisers, agencies and content partners: Team USA; The Picture Show; and WIGS.
It’s the last of those that’s getting the most attention so far. WIGS is the brainchild of filmmakers Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business) and Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment, Mother and Child), and will show high-end original content starring female leads in scripted series, short films, and documentaries. Several series are already programmed, and they feature a roster of stars that includes Virginia Madsen, Stephen Moyer, Caitlin Gerard, Jennifer Garner (pictured), Julia Stiles, America Ferrera, Dakota Fanning, Alison Janney and many others.
U.S. Olympians are the focus of the Team USA channel, which is being produced in conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Committee, and sponsored by AT&T. It will be a blend of historical Olympic Games videos, instruction from Olympic coaches, and profiles of past and current Olympic athletes.
The Picture Show comes from Maker Studios and Tribeca Enterprises, producers of the annual Tribeca Film Festival, and is set to launch later this year.
These are in addition to the dozens of specialized channels YouTube has already confirmed. YouTube reports having more than 800 million visitors who collectively watch 3 billion hours of video per month, is extending the channels initiative it introduced last autumn.
Hollywood Reporter – Upfronts 2012: YouTube Announces New Channels