PopSugar Announces First Scripted Series

Eight new shows join 11 returning ones

It was a little too pretty in pink at PopSugar's NewFront in New York on Thursday evening. But, in the midst of all the ice cream waffles and umbrellas dripping with churros (seriously), the women's lifestyle company announced eight new original programs—including its first scripted series—and 11 returning series to boost its 50 million live and on-demand video views.

"We wanted to do videos that really contributed to the space," president David Grant told Adweek at the event.

PopSugar is ranked fifth among lifestyle brands, per comScore, and has seen a greater than 1,000 percent increase in views year-over-year, according to Grant. Now, it's ready to take things to the next level. The company is working with online video network Above Average to present Seriously Distracted, a sitcom about a second-string New York PR firm that is obsessed with celebrity gossip since it isn't exactly bustling with clients. Above Average is part of Broadway Video, the production company responsible for Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Portlandia.

Grant said the women's lifestyle publisher wasn't in the market for a scripted comedy—that's before it was pitched by two young producers. The entire office couldn’t stop laughing at the pilot episode the duo sent them, which was about their office's reaction to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin breaking up.

"We think of it as Workaholics for our demographic," Grant said. 

The company is also working with production company Core Media Group on a late-night-style talk show about "sex, love and everything in between" called #FullDisclosure, and Best Birthday Ever With The Coop, which follows a kids' birthday party-planning service based out of Los Angeles.

Further targeting millennials, PopSugar announced What Now? With Katherine Schwarzenegger, which will focus on post-college life and the existential questions that come with it. Gillian Jacobs from NBC’s Community will host Fetch Fashion, which will feature the actress and her dog Mick modeling designer outfits as she gabs with fashion insiders.

To give advertisers a taste of its offerings, PopSugar hosted a live version of its series We Spy Style, wherein a panel riffs on celebrity trends like Rhianna’s always-nude stance and Anne Hathaway’s crazy pixie braids. Also at the event, chef Dominique Ansel, famous for starting the cronut craze, unveiled a brand new dessert, the Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich.