Starz Launch New YouTube Comedy Set


American premium cable network entertainment providers Starz Digital Media have unveiled what they hope will be a popular new way for viewers to enjoy their content, although as opposed to the content on their subscription network, the company will be focusing on offering original series (in both ‘animated’ and ‘live-action’ formats) through their new YouTube comedy channel.

union_pool_youtubeAiming to roll out a selection of fresh content every Tuesday and Thursday, the new service, which will be known as ‘Union Pool’, will supply viewers on YouTube 3 new series to go alongside their existing YouTube staples such as How It Should Have Ended, with puppet-animation cartoon critique show Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon, community college-based ‘acting school spoof’ Hollywood Acting Studio, and animated series Tvoovies, something that is being described as a show inspired by conversations seen on social networking site Reddit.

Starz Digital Media senior vice-president Mara Winokur said of the developments: “We have been so successful with two of our award-winning Web animation series ‘How It Should Have Ended’ and ’30-Second Bunnies Theater’, that we saw an opportunity to provide viewers with more original content. We’re extremely proud of our newest lineup of web series and are looking forward to providing more quality comedy originals to viewers everywhere.”

The three new shows are naturally entering an increasingly saturated market when it comes to ‘original series on YouTube’, but will they manage to get ahead on account of their ‘Starz’ appeal? The press release in full regarding the launch of Union Pool can be seen here:

Starz Digital Media is proud to announce the next step in its mission to deliver quality programming across multiple platforms with the launch of its new entertainment and comedy YouTube channel, “Union Pool.”  Brought to life by the company behind the web series sensation “How It Should Have Ended,” “Union Pool” will offer a unique variety of animated and live-action series, with new episodes launching every Tuesday and Thursday beginning today at www.youtube.com/unionpool. Initial programming will include pop culture animated mashup “Tvoovies,” acting school spoof “Hollywood Acting Studio,” and the award-winning puppet animation adventure “Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon.”

“We have been so successful with two of our award-winning web animation series ‘How It Should Have Ended’ and ’30-Second Bunnies Theater,’ that we saw an opportunity to provide viewers with more original content,” said Mara Winokur, SVP, Digital for Starz Digital Media. “We’re extremely proud of our newest lineup of web series and are looking forward to providing more quality comedy originals to viewers everywhere.”

Tvoovies The original concept for “Tvoovies” was inspired by casual conversations on the popular social news site Reddit. Created by award winning LA-based producers Cosmic Toast Studios in partnership with Starz Digital Media, “Tvoovies” is a pop culture animated mashup where hit television series collide with blockbuster films. Whip-smart, tongue-in-cheek and often outrageous, this season’s lineup, parodies the biggest titles in entertainment, including “Jurassic Parks and Rec,” “Mad X-Men,” “Indiana Jones and the Abbey of Downton” and “The Grey’s Anatomy.” 

Hollywood Acting Studio Created by Kevin Best, co-founder of the Natural Disastronauts (Cracked.com’s Cracked Advice Board), “Hollywood Acting Studio” follows the hilarious unorthodox teaching methods of Professor Lafrange, a failed Hollywood hopeful instructing a new crop of aspiring actors at a local community college.  Students learn the pillars of the craft, such as auditioning, green-screen acting, crying, and more through Lafrange’s deranged and pretentious techniques. “Hollywood Acting Studio” stars Groundlings and Upright Citizen’s Brigade breakout comedian Drew Droege, creator of the viral video sensation “Chloë,” and features Co-Producer Daniel Vincent Gordh, star of the Interactive Media Emmy® -winning series  “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,”.  The ensemble cast of “Hollywood Acting Studio” includes J. Teddy Garces (“The Guild”, “The Sessions”) and award-winning actress Myra Turley (“Mad Men”).

Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon Nickelodeon and DC Comics alumni Manny Galán and Pat Giles of Pat-Man Studios serve as Executive Producers for “Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon”. The show is an award-winning animated adventure that follows seafaring puppets on their underwater quest aboard the Manta Ray. This cartoon-retrieving vessel commanded by Captain Cornelius dives deep into Cartoon Lagoon in search of the best and the worst cartoons ever made.  Meanwhile, a motley crew spoofs PSAs and retro animated favorites, including the original “Casper The Friendly Ghost,” “The Underwater Adventures of Captain Nemo,” and “Popeye the Sailor Man.” Celebrated by Amazon Studios with the 2012 New York Television Festival Audience Award, this magical salute to Saturday morning cartoons unites “MAD TV” and “Robot Chicken” scribe Steve Borst with a lineup of veteran and breakthrough talent from The Disney Channel, Nick Jr., The Jim Henson Company, Marvel Comics, Archie Comics, WB Animation, MTV, Spike TV, “Bear in the Big Blue House,” and “Avenue Q.”  About Starz Digital Media Starz Digital Media is a leading distributor of digital and on-demand content.  Starz Digital Media distributes original programming content (Starz and AMC), feature films (The Weinstein Company, Anchor Bay Films), anime (Manga Entertainment) and other filmed entertainment utilizing various business models including download-to-own/electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, subscription video-on-demand and ad-supported streaming. Starz Digital Media also programs and supports numerous ad-supported broadband channels and develops games, applications and other related content from many of its properties for distribution worldwide. Starz Digital Media is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com.

About Cartoon Lagoon Studios Founders Manny Galán and Pat Giles know their cereal, commercial and cartoons. They have been in the pop culture business for years with a long pedigree in children’s television. Giles previously served as the art director for Disney’s “Stanley” series on The Disney Channel, and worked on hundreds of episodes on six other TV shows, including “Disney’s Doug,” and MTV’s “Daria.” Giles also co-founded the indie-comics publisher Monkeysuit Press, featuring his TPB comic collection “The Big Problem With Marshall.” Galán has worked at Marvel, DC Comics, Archie Comics and Nickelodeon, first in their consumer products division and later in the On Air department where he wrote and directed hundreds of shorts, including the legendary “Nickmas” series, “Captain Nick,” and “How Angelica Stole Christmas.” Galán’s toy line “Dookie-Poo” is an award-winning collection of designer vinyls and plush, and featured in indie-comics collection Combination Platter.  Go for a dive into the Lagoon with the Captain, Wet Willy Jones and Axel Rod McGee to discover what new cartoon gems they discover at: www.cartoonlagoonstudios.com

About Cosmic Toast Studios Cosmic Toast Studios (“CTS”), located in Burbank, California, is a full-service production studio that specializes in animation, music scoring, and sound effects to create remarkable worlds and memorable characters. Every step of the pre-production, production, and postproduction process is completed within the studio, including animation (both 2D and CGI), writing, storyboarding, animatics, shooting (CTS has its own green screen facility), editing, sound design, music scoring, and song and voice over recording. CTS’ other credits include production of animated feature DVDs, webisodes, TV series and commercials for a client base that includes Skechers, Hasbro, Mattel, Maker Studios,  Moonscoop Productions and MGA Entertainment.  www.cosmictoaststudios.com.

About The Natural Disastronauts The Natural Disastronauts is a sketch comedy troupe and filmmaking collective composed of Daniel Vincent Gordh, his brother Will Gordh, Katy Stoll and Kevin Best.  They’ve received acclaim for “The Cracked Advice Board” and “The Katie Willert Experience,” two popular webseries hosted on the Webby Award-winning humor site Cracked.com.  They’ve also produced numerous one-off sketches that have garnered over 10 million views webwide. Their viral hit sketch “State Home for Manic Pixie Dream Girls” was widely received and featured across top culture and humor sites, including Buzzfeed, The A.V. Club, The Gloss, and Flavorpill. Their most recent project is producing the original comedy series “Hollywood Acting Studio” for Starz Digital Media that will release on YouTube (www.youtube.com/unionpool) on September 10.

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