Lionsgate has formed a partnership with Kevin Hart and his Hartbeat Digital to launch the Laugh Out Loud video-on-demand service in the fall.
The new over-the-top service will operate 24-7 and serve as the exclusive home for all content created by Hart outside his theatrical and live touring activities and include original series starring Hart — such as a hidden-camera premium original series in which Hart stars as an undercover Lyft driver.
“Lionsgate has always been a great partner of mine, and I’m more than excited to take our business and creative relationship to new levels,” said Hart. “I understand the direction in which the television business is headed, and I see this big new space toward which audiences are starting to gravitate. I believe that launching this venture together now puts us ahead of the pack.”
Laugh Out Loud will also showcase content curated by Hart along with shows featuring social-media stars and up-and-coming comedians. That will include a series starring social media personality Logan Paul, who generated 300 million video views on Facebook last month along with nearly 4 billion loops on Vine.
Codeblack CEO Jeff Clanagan, who has served as Hart’s business partner for the past decade, has been named president of Laugh Out Loud and president of Hartbeat Digital.
The alliance will also include Lionsgate teaming with Hart and game developer Fifth Journey to create a social adventure mobile game starring and written in collaboration with Hart. The game will allow players to become comedic rock stars with Hart as their mentor and include touring the country, starring in movies, hosting award shows and more.
Hart has starred in the “Ride Along” and “Think Like a Man” franchises along with “Get Hard,” “The Wedding Ringer,” “About Last Night” and “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain.” His upcoming features include “Central Intelligence” opposite Dwayne Johnson and “Kevin Hart: What Now?”
“Kevin is one of the biggest stars in the world, and we’re proud to kick off our partnership with a new OTT platform as well as a mobile game, extending a collaboration that began with the film ‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain,’” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “He is an incredibly versatile talent who will bring his unique comedic voice to Laugh Out Loud’s entire spectrum of original content, and his ever-expanding global fan base gives both initiatives tremendous growth potential.”
Hart’s comedy tours have included the “Seriously Funny,” “Laugh at My Pain,” “Let Me Explain” and “What Now,” with the movie component filmed before 52,000 fans in Philadelphia. He’s also the co-creator, writer, executive producer and star of the television series “Real Husbands of Hollywood.”
Source: Variety | Dave McNary