US TV to broadcast first YouTube funded show ‘Recipe Rehab’


US TV network ABC is to broadcast a cooking show that began as part of YouTube's “Original Channels” initiative, the first such deal to take a YouTube-funded program to national TV. ‘Recipe Rehab’ teaches viewers familiar recipes, and will be will be broadcast on Saturday mornings on 200 ABC-affiliate stations across the United States from October. For the TV version, Recipe Rehab will be re-shot for the 22-minute TV format, but will be helmed by the same executive producer as the Web version, and two of its star chefs from YouTube will migrate to the small screen.

Watch a sample video here:


The show will also continue as a standard YouTube channel.

For Google-owned YouTube, the deal is a milestone in its effort to rebrand itself as a place to watch high-quality video, able to compete with traditional TV for advertising dollars as well as audiences.

The deal comes nearly a year after YouTube launched a US$100 million campaign to shed its image as a repository for blurry, home-made cat videos, by paying producers to make slick, professional programs.

“Recipe Rehab is the latest example of how creators are now harnessing the combined attributes of TV and the Web to build scaled, engaged audiences,” said Alex Carloss, YouTube's global head of original programming.

The show was the brainchild of Mark Koops, a veteran TV producer who created shows including “The Biggest Loser” on NBC, and Fox's “Masterchef,” starring celebrity cook Gordon Ramsay.

“Digital has shown its capacity as a proving ground,” Koops said. “Now everyone is working out how to monetize the content.”

YouTube has funded roughly 100 channels, including Everyday Health and many others that boasted tie-ins with stars like actors Ashton Kutcher and Amy Poehler, and former basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.

In May, YouTube threw a glamorous party in an attempt to woo advertisers, and present its channels as serious media brands. At the time, it said it would invest another US$200 million to market its new channels.

View the Recipe Rehab series on YouTube here

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