In recent years, video and streaming hubs have increasingly embraced original content. Netflix has built an online empire around shows like Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, and Stranger Things, all of which raked in high critical praise on par with network television. Sites like Hulu and Amazon have launched successful original endeavors as well, with standout series including Transparent and Casual.
YouTube, too, has helped spawn a slew of web-exclusive content, launching the careers of big time vloggers such as Tyler Oakley, Casey Neistat and Zoella. The platform has also aided in scoring popular web series like Broad City and Issa Rae’s Insecure spots on the small screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, YouTube added eight new shows and a string of renewals to its existing original lineup in June—including an adaptation of beloved 2006 dance film Step Up.
Now, YouTube is expanding its slate of original programming with its first-ever animated series, Paranormal Action Squad, the company announced Wednesday. Created by gaming and animation veterans Vanoss, SeaNanners and Mr_Sark, the eight-episode comedy follows a team of bumbling paranormal investigators. Paul (voiced by SeaNanners), Eddie (voiced by Mr_Sark), and their enthusiastic neighbor Vanoss (voiced by Vanoss) join their squad each episode as they attempt to rid their clients of pestering supernatural entities without making things worse. The project is helmed by Michael Rowe, an Emmy Award-winning writer from animated favorites Futurama and Family Guy.
In anticipation of Paranormal Action Squad, YouTube also unveiled a first-look video [above] featuring a behind-the-scenes glimpse and tease of the upcoming show. “This guy is a real badass,” Vanoss, clad in the same owl mask his character wears, says in the clip. “He can fight. He has good looks, intelligence, and he’s just trying to join up with [Eddie and Paul], trying to be part of the group.” But his co-stars don’t seem onboard. “I don’t know about any of that,” says Mr._Sark.
The group goes on to say that viewers will like the series if they’re fans of “high-octane ass kickin’” and “off color humor.” From the sounds of it, Paranormal Action Squad features the same raunchy, sarcastic comedy that made Rowe’s work on Futurama and Family Guy a hit, and even though Cartoon Network and Fox weren’t strict on content, perhaps the online format will lend even more creative control
Paranormal Action Squad is set to premiere Nov. 16 on YouTube Red, YouTube’s paid subscription service, where it will remain available exclusively.