Viacom Names Rebecca Glashow and Shelley Zimmerman Co-Heads Of Awesomeness

Viacom Digital Studios has named Rebecca Glashow and Shelley Zimmerman co-heads of Awesomeness, where they’ll be charged with leading the brand’s next stage of growth.
Based in New York, Glashow most recently served as chief strategy and distribu…

Viacom Looks at AwesomenessTV Buyout for Bargain Price

Viacom is in advanced discussions to purchase AwesomenessTV, the youth-focused digital media company, for a steep discount on its previous valuation, a person with knowledge of negotiations told TheWrap.

The price tag would fall well below the $650 million AwesomenessTV was valued at in 2016, when Verizon bought a 24.5 percent cut. Bloomberg first reported the potential buyout could be about $300 million, but a person familiar with the deal said that figure is much higher than is being discussed.

Comcast owns a 51 percent stake in Awesomeness, which it grabbed from Dreamworks as part of its buyout in 2016. Hearst owns the remaining 24.5 percent of the company.

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Awesomeness has targeted millennial and Gen Z viewers through an array of content across several social platforms, subscription-video-on-demand services, and thousands of YouTube channels, since launching in 2012.

There are already close ties between the two outfits: Kelly Day, who runs Viacom’s digital studio, was previously at AwesomenessTV. Brian Robbins, co-founder and former CEO of AwesomenessTV, is now at Paramount Pictures, which falls under the Viacom umbrella.

The push for AwesomenessTV is part of Viacom CEO Bob Bakish’s push to compete on the digital front. Viacom bought VidCon, the online video conference beloved by teens, earlier this year.

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Negotiations between AwesomenessTV and Viacom come as the former has had a difficult time turning its audience into a sustainable revenue source. The Los Angeles-based company has had internal strife as well, with Brett Bouttier, one of its longtime senior employees, leaving AwesomenessTV recently, according to The Video Ink.

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Eli Brown (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists), Peter Facinelli (Twilight Saga, Nurse Jackie), Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Goosebumps 2), and Jerry O’Connell (Billions) are set for Awesomeness Films’ comedy, current…

Hulu Orders Horror Series ‘Light as a Feather’ From Kelsey Grammer and Awesomeness TV

Hulu has given a straight-to-series order to horror show “Light as a Feather,” which counts “Cheers” and “Frasier” alum Kelsey Grammer among its many executive producers.

The 10-episode thriller comes from Awesomeness TV, Wattpad, and Grammer’s Gramnet.

Based on Zoe Aarsen’s story “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board,” which was originally published on Wattpad, the streaming version will highlight a slumber party gone wrong, as five girls begin dying off in the exact way the game predicts.

Production on the series is set to begin in June.

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Lee Fleming Jr. created the adaptation and will executive produce the show. Other executive producers include Awesomeness TV’s Jordan Levin, Shelley Zimmerman, Joe Davola and Brett Bouttier.

Tom Russo, Brian Sher and Stella Bulochnikov from Gramnet and Aron Levitz and Eric Lehrman from Wattpad also all earn executive producer credits on the upcoming Hulu series.

“‘Light as a Feather’ is a captivating and unique story, with supernatural twists and thrills that readers all over the world have fallen in love with,” said Levitz, the head of Wattpad Studios. “The story is another example of a Wattpad fan favorite that is perfect for adaptation and new life on another platform. We’re excited to be working with AwesomenessTV and Hulu to bring ‘Light as a Feather’ to a new audience in a new format, while also giving the story’s millions of current fans another way to enjoy the story they couldn’t put down.”

“When I first joined Wattpad, I set out to create something unique, exploring characters and a world where female empowerment, friendship, and supernatural forces come together,” added Aarsen. “Wattpad is a place where people come together and connect over stories, discussing every twist and cliffhanger, so it was the perfect platform for my story. Teen horror is my passion, so I can’t wait to be able to share ‘Light as a Feather’ with other horror aficionados on Hulu.”

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