NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE) today announced that Astronauts Wanted's (AW) HeyUSA will premiere full-length episodes exclusively on THE SCENE (www.thescene.com) October 15th. HeyUSA -- the first-of-its-kind series starring YouTube sensations, and best friends, Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart -- takes fans on an eight week summer road trip to celebrate America's hidden gems.
Visiting a new city each week, Grace and Mamrie explored the USA on fan suggestions via social media to determine what they do and where they go next. In an innovative approach, AW chose to create making-of episodes for the series all summer long, giving fans the behind-the-scenes access and bloopers usually reserved for after a series has been aired. The reversal allowed the audience to build momentum and engagement in real time all summer long in anticipation of the full episode's fall release. Initially on THE SCENE, and later across all of CNE's distribution partners including YouTube, AOL, Yahoo, Roku and Dailymotion, fans can watch the complete episodes of Grace and Mamrie's summer adventure.
"HeyUSA is a perfect example of the type of engaging, premium programming that will find a home on THE SCENE and resonate with our audience of influential millennials," said Whitney Howard, senior vice president of business development and strategy for CNE. "We're excited to partner with Astronauts Wanted to give Grace and Mamrie's fans access to their adventures."
"The Internet is an extremely personal medium and we got to take the concept of having a two way conversation with our audience to the next level," said Helbig. "We spent our summer living out the most adventurous social media experiment I've ever been a part of and I'm excited and interested to see how it will continue to shape the relationship we have with our audience." Added Hart: "It was super exciting to actually bring fans along with us this summer with HeyUSA, letting them see and respond to our adventures in real time. If I fell off a Segway, I got to hear their reactions (and see dozens of GIFs of it) while I still had fresh bruises!"
HeyUSA was created by Billy Parks and Nick Shore of Astronauts Wanted, the transmedia youth content brand helmed by Judy McGrath (former CEO of MTV Networks), to bring richer experiences to life within the social media landscape and allow for deeper, more intimate engagement between influencers and followers. Parks and Shore are executive producing the series with Bleecker Street Entertainment's Ken Treusch. "Grace and Mamrie are as true as Lucy and Ethel, Laverne and Shirley or Tina and Amy. The amazing relationship with their audience inspired us at AW. We wanted to honor that connection by building a program that their audience not only participates in, but co-creates. We sought to enable a real social conversation and give their fans a show they could call their own," said Billy Parks, Chief Content Officer of Astronauts Wanted.
AW curated and leveraged fan generated content throughout the summer to build a groundswell of fan excitement around teaser clips of HeyUSA – culminating in over 6 million views on YouTube across AW, Helbig and Hart's channels, and 3 million engagements across Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The AW social team shared exclusive pictures and videos from Helbig and Hart directly to the Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube communities, empowering super fans to create custom images and GIFs, which in turn expanded the reach and influence of the series. HeyUSA saw over 2M comments and likes around the #HeyUSA on Instagram alone. To further HeyUSA's success and fan engagement, consumers can now visit heyusa.thescene.com to sign up to receive breaking news around the series and subscribe to a newsletter from THE SCENE for additional details about the HeyUSA premiere.
Grace Helbig is a comedian, actress, author, YouTube personality and creator of the YouTube series, itsGrace – a comedic, one-woman talk-show confessional, which has attracted 1.8 million subscribers since launching in January 2014. Most recently, Grace announced a pilot production deal with the E! News network. Mamrie Hart is also a comedic actress, writer, and performer. She became a YouTube star with her popular show, "You Deserve a Drink," gaining 600,000 subscribers and devoted followers across Instagram and Twitter. In February 2014, Grace and Mamrie released their successful digital film Camp Takota with Rockstream, with Mamrie serving as co-writer.
THE SCENE, which launched on July 16th, is an industry-first platform, curating the best digital video content from today's most trusted sources in online media. A window into the worlds of fashion, sports, culture, comedy and more, THE SCENE presents the inspiring, celebrated, and unexpected stories that shape our culture, reflect our world, and help make your Tuesdays just a little less ordinary.
In addition to original programming, THE SCENE currently features digital video content from iconic Conde Nast brands, including Glamour, GQ, Vogue, Wired, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Style.com, Self, Allure, Golf Digest, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Brides, Details, W and The New Yorker. THE SCENE also features premium programming from top media partners, including AOL, ABC News, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Variety, Major League Soccer, PBS Digital Studios, Weather Channel Films, Vox Media, and JASH.
To follow #HeyUSA:
To watch the last scenes from HeyUSA: http://youtu.be/78zMqh55zXg
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To download photos, logo and additional assets: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1ls3lhbck46x1g8/AADKqIklIYz4hpa1U3-7Y2-3a
Photo credit: Maddie Cordoba
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About Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE)
Conde Nast creates the world's best content for the world's most influential audiences, attracting millions of consumers across its twenty industry-leading print and digital media brands: Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Brides, Self, GQ, The New Yorker, Conde Nast Traveler, Details, Allure, Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Wired, W, Lucky, Golf Digest, Golf World, Teen Vogue and Ars Technica.
The company launched Conde Nast Entertainment in 2011 to develop film, television and digital video programming. Conde Nast also owns Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM) and its portfolio of comprehensive fashion journalism brands: WWD, Style.com, Footwear News, NowManifest, Beauty Inc., M and Fairchild Summits.
For more information on Conde Nast, visit condenast.com or follow us on Twitter @CondeNast and @CNE.
About Astronauts Wanted
Astronauts Wanted: No Experience Necessary is a content brand for the mobile-first audience: young female Millennials and Generation Z. The company creates programming around emerging talent, distinctive new voices and social influencers. Astronauts Wanted is a joint venture between Judy McGrath, former Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, and Sony Music Entertainment.
SOURCE Conde Nast Entertainment