Stage 13, a new original digital content brand under Warner Bros. Digital Networks, has officially announced that the service will premiere in October. Promising a diverse mix of "unapologetic" scripted and unscripted programming, Stage 13 will debut that month via YouTube, Facebook and at Stage13.com with a monthly rollout of series premieres. Two Sentence Horror Stories will also premiere that month on Verizon's go90 platform, joining original horror-comedy series Snatchers.
For Diana Mogollón, Stage 13's senior vice-president and general manager, it's about reaching a younger and more diverse audience with programming that speaks to their varied interests:
"We were looking for an opportunity to super-serve the young, multicultural audience and we saw premium digital content with an authentic, relevant and fearless voice as the path. Warner Bros., which has a long history of cultivating new talent, got behind the idea and encouraged us to move forward with our vision of a short form premium content brand celebrating youth culture."
Here's what Stage 13 has in store for viewers come October:
Two Sentence Horror Stories (Verizon's go90): This series taps into universal, primal fears of death, abandonment, and loneliness filtered through the anxieties of the most connected and racially diverse generation. The series was created, written and executive produced by Vera Miao, a Tribeca Film Institute Fellow, and won the Fox Inclusion Award at this year's OutFest.
Lipstick Empire: This female driven, unscripted series follows two of the beauty industry's biggest brands – Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar, co-founders and CEOs of Melt Cosmetics. As the owners and faces of Melt, the two fierce makeup moguls tell their story that began behind a makeup counter and has blossomed to be one of the biggest independent makeup brands, with over 3 million global fans. The fast-paced, fans-first business keeps the co-CEOs' busy balancing friendship, life and the highly competitive beauty industry. Lipstick Empire is produced by Shed Media.
Marching Orders: Regarded as the nation's best, Bethune-Cookman University's marching band always has a lot at stake. This unscripted series follows the incoming class trying to keep the legacy alive and the seniors who make sure they do. Led by band director Donovan "The Devil" Wells, the Wildcats take it to the field every performance, risking college scholarships and national fame every time. Marching Orders is produced by Gigantic Productions.
Independent: This unscripted series follows four of hip-hop's most exciting independent artists, Futuristic, Reverie, Sean Brown, and Trinidad James, as they work to take over the music scene without the ties of a major record label. Stage 13 follows these bold artists as they grow their fan base, tour internationally and deal with the harsh realities that come when chasing the dream. Independent is about the hustle, the vision and the American Hip-Hop dream. The series was in the digital shorts episodic competition at Series Fest this June, the series was produced by We Are Famous Productions.
I Love Bekka & Lucy: The first digital series to ever be featured in the episodic category at SXSW, takes an honest and comedic look into the friendship of two best friends who face the evolution of their relationship when one of them gets engaged. Rachael Holder created, wrote and directed the series. It stars Jessica Kennedy (Black Sails) as Bekka, Tanisha Long (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) as Lucy, Alexis Denisof (How I Met Your Mother) as Glen and Chris Smith (Paranormal Activity 3) as Harry. In addition to Holder, I Love Bekka & Lucy is produced by Haven Entertainment.
The Incredible Life of Darrell: Revolves around Darrell, an awkward wallflower who finds himself delaying the transition into adulthood at all costs. Unlike most of his colorful friends, Darrell refuses to get a job and instead focuses on building jetpacks and playing hacky sack in his spare time. Darrell Lake created, wrote, directed and stars in the series. It also stars newcomers actors Joy Regullano, Justin Bryant Rapp, Caleb Brown, Abigail Klein, April Grace and more. The Incredible Life of Darrell is produced by West of 7th Digital Productions.
Here's a quick preview of what's ahead for Stage 13: