Starz taps YouTube star Shane Dawson for “The Chair”

The 25-year-old Dawson, whose YouTube comedy channels have racked up more than 10 million subscribers, will feature in Starz's first unscripted series, The Chair.
April 11, 2014

U.S. cable net Starz has hired YouTube star Shane Dawson to be at the center of cable network’s first unscripted series The Chair, created by Chris Moore, the exec producer of Good Will Hunting and Project Greenlight.

The show follows Dawson and Anna Martemucci as they make separate versions of the feature-length coming-of-age comedy How Soon is Now from the same script (written by Dan Schoffer), for the same budget (US$850,000) and in the same location (Pittsburgh, PA).

Dawson’s YouTube comedy channels have racked up more than 10 million subscribers and more than a billion views. In October 2013, he sold a half-hour sitcom to NBC with Olive Bridge Entertainment and Sony TV.

Martemucci wrote and starred in the independent film Breakup at a Wedding, which is currently available for free streaming on Hulu. Both are first-time feature directors.

The 10-part series documents the creation, marketing and theatrical release of both adaptations, which will both air on Starz. Through multi-platform voting, the audience will determine which director will be awarded a $250,000 prize.

Actor Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story, Star Trek, Heroes) and his producing partners Corey Moosa, Neal Dodson and Sean Akers will serve as on-screen mentors to the filmmakers, along with Moore and the script’s original producer, Josh Shader.

The films just wrapped principal photography. The series will premiere this fall on Starz, which will retain all domestic multi-platform pay TV rights.

Check out a recent parody video where Dawson sings the lyrics to celebrity tweets:

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.