Will Smith, Alicia Keys Lead YouTube Originals Series For Latest Programming Slate
Photo Credit: Gary Gershoff

Will Smith, Alicia Keys Lead YouTube Originals Series For Latest Programming Slate

YouTube has nabbed some big-name entertainers for its latest original programming slate.

This week, the video giant announced both new and returning projects at its 10th-annual personalized digital experience, Brandcast Delivered — an event that highlights the magic of YouTube for top advertisers, brands, partners, press and platform creators.

As part of its steady strategy, YouTube Originals is building projects around the personalities and crafts of the platform’s top creators in an effort to attract a larger audience, as told by YouTube ‎chief business officer Robert Kyncl.

“If you’re a creative person, you want to work with the place that has the greatest reach — that’s the ultimate satisfaction, greater than money,” Kyncl tells Variety in an interview.

According to him, the creator economy is “here to stay — and it’s not just YouTube, the whole world has kind of validated it. It’s reshaping Hollywood and other industries around the world.”

Among its new programming, YouTube unveiled a new unscripted series starring Will Smith as he embarks on his fitness journey, as well as an upcoming docu-series with Alicia Keys slated for this summer.

Smith’s project, “Best Shape of My Life” (working title), is a six-part series from he and his Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Media company that will follow the former rapper and actor as he works to improve every aspect of his fitness lifestyle with the help of special guests that include pro athletes, scientists and experts along with top YouTube creators.

This will be Smith’s second project with YouTube Originals after he bungee-jumped out of a helicopter over the Grand Canyon on his 50th birthday for the video platform in order to raise money for charity.

Keys’ four-part docu-series, tentatively titled “Noted,” will follow the singer-songwriter as she celebrates the 20th anniversary of her debut album, “Songs in A Minor,” and records her eighth studio project. The series will also feature performances and behind-the-scenes footage from the last 20 years of Keys’ career.

Other exclusive projects on the platform include a docu-series titled “Ice Cold” to be executive produced by MIGOS; a special titled “Barbershop Medicine” that will spotlight the impact of race and socioeconomic status on healthcare and longevity and COVID-19; and the return of actress, producer and top creator Liza Koshy’s fan-favorite series “Liza on Demand.”

To view the full state of upcoming YouTube programming, click here.