FilmRise Inks Content Deals With Rooster Teeth, Lorne Michaels’ Above Average

New York-based film and TV studio and streaming network FilmRise has inked content deals with Rooster Teeth and Lorne Michaels’ Above Average Presents.

Under the deal with Above Average, a division of Broadway Video, FilmRise will create streaming TV episodes featuring a variety of comedy sketches taken from the more than 40 hours available from the Above Average library. FilmRise will distribute the newly formatted comedy series to all digital platforms as well as feature it on the FilmRise Comedy AVOD App and its FAST Channels. 

“Our deal with Above Average expands our digital native offerings to include comedy with high-profile, high-quality programming,” Max Einhorn, SVP of acquisitions and co-productions at FilmRise, said in a statement. “Above Average is a brand that features some of the biggest names in comedy and has over 8 million subscribers in its network and 2.4 billion views on YouTube.”

“We are thrilled to expand Above Average’s audience to streaming viewers around the world,” Marc Lieberman, president of Above Average, said in a statement. “Since the launch of Above Average, we have watched the network grow exponentially, and are excited to partner with FilmRise’s innovative team to expand our digital footprint worldwide.”

Initially FilmRise will roll out two seasons, consisting of 15 episodes each. Episodes will range from 22 minutes to 30 minutes long. The programs will include comedy sketches from “7 Minutes In Heaven,” featuring talent such as Paul Rudd, Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres, Amy Poehler and Andy Samberg, among many others; “Cool Kids’ Table”; “Forgotten Assholes of History”; “Hudson Valley Ballers”; “I Wanna Have Your Baby”; “Is This Okay?”; “Paulilu Mixtape”; “Sound Advice”; “The Idiot’s Guide to Smart People”; “Thingstarter”; and “Waco Valley.”

FilmRise plans to launch the first two season in July 2022.

Under the Rooster Teeth deal, FilmRise has acquired the exclusive SVOD, AVOD and FAST rights to more than 400 episodes across three properties of digital native content from the subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery. The three properties are the first animated series that FilmRise has acquired for the digital native content division.

The deal includes exclusive SVOD, AVOD and FAST rights to all episodes of “Red vs. Blue,” “Camp Camp” and “Nomad of Nowhere.” FilmRise will curate groupings of episodes seasons from each property and package them into traditional half-hour TV style seasons and episodes for streaming audiences.

“We are thrilled to expand our rapidly growing slate of digital-first content with these incredible programs from Rooster Teeth, a digital entertainment pioneer that has created a passionate global fandom and lifestyle brand,” Einhorn said in a statement. “FilmRise recognized early on the huge landscape of talent in the digital native content space. We’re delighted Rooster Teeth will partner with our expansive streaming network to bring their content to wider audiences.”

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“Our partnership with FilmRise provides instant worldwide international distribution and exposure on multiple streaming platforms leveraging our global fan base, expanding our programming into many new territories and bringing new fans into our community,” Geoff Yetter, head of licensing and consumer products at Rooster Teeth, said in a statement.

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“Camp Camp”

“Red vs. Blue” is an animated comedy set against the Halo video game world, chronicling the lives of soldiers on the Red Team and the Blue Team. “Camp Camp” is an animated comedy series surrounding the misadventures of a cynical 10-year-old sent to summer camp against his will. “Nomad of Nowhere” is a Western-fantasy hybrid, following bounty hunters Captain Toth and Skout as they track the Nomad (a non-verbal scarecrow) for his magical capabilities. The series examines the relationship between the two female bounty hunters in the face of the ever-evolving nature of their adventures. All three series were produced in-house by Rooster Teeth’s animation studio in Austin, Texas.

HBO Max to Stream Comedy Central’s ‘The Other Two,’ ‘South Side’ and ‘Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens’

The upcoming seasons of the comedies “The Other Two” and “South Side” from Comedy Central Productions are joining HBO Max as new Max Original series, while the channel’s “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” will also find a home on the streaming service.

The first seasons of “The Other Two” and “South Side” will land on the platform in 2021 followed by new seasons to stream exclusively as Max Original series.

“The Other Two,” created by former “Saturday Night Live” co-head writers, follows two millennial siblings as they navigate their teenage brother’s rise to internet fame and “South Side,” shot on location in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, is a comedic look at two friends, ready to take one world, once they stop working at the local rent-to-own.

As part of the deal, HBO Max has become the exclusive streaming home to the semi-autobiographical comedy “Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens,” from Awkwafina. Season one is available to stream now on HBO Max. Season two will premiere and air in its entirety on Comedy Central next summer before becoming available on HBO Max.

“These ground-breaking and hilarious programs are cultural touchstones and we are excited about the diverse group of comedic voices they will bring to HBO Max. We know our audiences will want to watch again and again,” Michael Quigley, EVP of content acquisitions at WarnerMedia, said in a statement. “We are strategically thinking of the fans first, and adding these exceptional series to our portfolio allows us to introduce these standout comedies to new viewers on HBO Max.”

“Comedy Central Productions’ deal with HBO Max is emblematic of our studio production strategy to maximize the value of our content by selectively working with third parties while prioritizing franchise IP for our own platforms,” Keyes Hill-Edgar, chief operating officer of ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth Brands, said in a statement. “As we shift our strategy and double down on adult animation, topical shows and scripted movies — we are excited to supercharge our studio sales business and continue these great series with HBO Max.”

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“The Other Two” features Cary, an aspiring actor and his sister Brooke, a former professional dancer, who try to find their place in the world while wrestling with their feelings about their 13-year-old brother Chase’s sudden rise to internet fame. Created by former “Saturday Night Live” co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, the series stars Drew Tarver, Helene Yorke, Case Walker, Ken Marino and Molly Shannon. Executive producers are Lorne Michaels, Kelly, Schneider, Andrew Singer and Tony Hernandez. The series is produced by Comedy Central Productions, Jax Media and Broadway Video.

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“South Side” follows two friends who just graduated from community college and are ready to take over the world. But until they do, they’re stuck working at Rent-T-Own. Shot on location in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, the show offers an authentic look into what life on the South Side is all about. Created by Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin and Sultan Salahuddin, the comedy stars Sultan Salahuddin, Kareme Young, Chandra Russell and Lil Rel Howery. Executive producers are Michael Blieden, Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. The series is produced by Comedy Central Productions.

“Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” features Awkwafina (Nora Lum) as Nora Lin in a scripted series based on her real-life beginnings in Queens, N.Y. Raised alongside her cousin by her dad and grandma, Nora leans on her family as she navigates young adulthood in outer borough New York City. Created by Awkwafina and Teresa Hsiao, the series also stars Lori Tan Chinn and BD Wong.  The series is executive produced by Nora Lum, Karey Dornetto, Lucia Aniello, Teresa Hsiao, and Peter Principato and Itay Reiss of Artists First.