ITV has launched ’2Awesome’, a new digital and linear strand housing Gen Z-targeted programming from digital media producer AwesomenessTV.
The partnership between the UK network and Awesomeness, first announced in July, will see 75 hours of long-form series broadcast in a special two-hour Sunday block on ITV2 in the first year. In 2018, the number of programming hours under the deal will increase to 100.
Hosted by as-yet unnamed UK presenters from both TV and social media, the strand is scheduled to launch Jan. 8 on ITV2 with the dating game show Third Wheel, teen-reality series LA Story, docuseries Arts Academy and scripted series Guidance and Side Effects, with more UK premieres of Awesomeness’s scripted and unscripted content expected to follow.
In addition to the ITV2 zone, a selection of AwesomenessTV shows will also premiere exclusively on the network’s ad-supported streaming platform, ITV Hub, starting on The X Factor finals weekend on Dec. 10.
The partnership will also see AwesomenessTV and ITV Studios collaborating on scripted and unscripted programming for ITV2 beginning in 2017. ITV Global Entertainment is expected to license the resulting copros to international markets.
For LA-based Awesomeness, which is owned by Comcast, Verizon and Hearst, the deal represents an opportunity to expand the company’s global audience reach.
Simon Pitts, MD of online, pay-TV and interactive at ITV, called the partnership “the first step” in producing, broadcasting and distributing new shows tailored for teen viewers.
“We can’t wait to launch our first exclusive series on the ITV Hub in December, followed in January by the initial ’2Awesome’ run on ITV2 featuring new presenters and a whole slate of new shows, with plenty more to come throughout the year,” he said in a statement.