By Sahil Patel
Say what you want about The Annoying Orange, but the animated property is arguably one of the biggest web video successes to date, from a YouTube channel with more than 3.3 million subscribers and over 1.8 billion lifetime views to a successful kids-comedy series on Cartoon Network.
Now, Dane Boedigheimer, the creator of the channel and eponymous talking fruit, is partnering with Collective Digital Studio to develop new shows for the YouTube channel targeted to kids ages 8 to 12.
The first new shows from the partnership will be “The Misfortune of Being Ned,” which launches on the channel tomorrow, and another animated series, “Gusto Rules,” which will debut in January.
“The Misfortune of Ned” is a short-form animated program that will follow the “spectacularly doomed adventures” of some tween named — you guessed it — Ned. The series is produced by Boedigheimer, Spencer Grove, Derek Gonzalez, Bob Jennings, and Aaron Massey. The voice cast is headlined by some well-known YouTubers: Steven Zaragoza of SourceFed and Meghan Camarena, known on YouTube as Strawburry17. Other cast members include Bob Jennings and Kevin Brueck.
“Gusto Rules,” which is based on the art installment “Eggmanland” by artist Tofer Chin, will follow the adventures of a bunch of “fun-loving morons” who also happen to be the royal family of Eggmanland. The show is created by Boedigheimer, Spencer Grove, and Abram Makowka, and is co-produced by Collective Digital Studio and Emmy-winning animation house Shadow Machine.
CDS says both new shows, as well as the flagship “The Annoying Orange” web series, will roll out new episodes on a weekly basis, continuing to mimicking the TV model of programming audiences to a certain day.
The two new shows are also the beginning of Boedigheimer and CDS’ plans to turn The Annoying Orange channel into a larger kids-centric animation hub. The announcement hints that Boedigheimer is currently at work developing more show concepts for the channel.
It apparently doesn’t end there with Boedigheimer, who also plans to launch a new web series called “Thunder McWylde” on October 10 on his Daneboe YouTube channel. This animated series will tell the story of a super-powered street-fighter who has to struggle to fit into the real world. It will also feature a who’s who of YouTubers in the voice cast, which includes Ross Everett, Zaragoza, and Lee Newton of SourceFed, as well as other online stars like Michelle Glavan of Awkward Kids and Jess Lizama. “Thunder McWylde” will be executive produced by Boedigheimer and Aaron Massey, with Ross Everett on board as co-executive producer, and Frank Chad Muniz and J.D. Maccoby as producers.
Boedigheimer is already repped by CDS, which notably helped him land the web-to-TV deal with Cartoon Network.
For its part, Collective Digital Studio also plans to rev up its programming across its network of creators. The company says “expanded channels” featuring YouTubers like FreddieW, Epic Meal Time, and Megan & Liz are set to roll out throughout the year and into 2014. In fact, it was only a couple of weeks ago that Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein launched a gaming channel on YouTube.