Original YouTube show Recipe Rehab makes the jump to ABC

Michelle Clancy | 26-09-2012

Marking a rare online-to-broadcast migration, an original YouTube show is making its broadcast TV network debut in the U.S. on ABC in October. Healthy cooking show Recipe Rehab will start airing nationwide on Saturday mornings, while maintaining its weekly Web presence.

The broadcast episodes are not exactly a straight repurposing of the Web show. Installments will be re-shot for the 22-minute TV format, and only two of its YouTube chefs will make the transition. The same executive producer will handle both the Web version and the broadcast iteration.

"Recipe Rehab is the latest example of how creators are now harnessing the combined attributes of TV and the Web to build scaled, engaged audiences," said Alex Carloss, YouTube's global head of original programming, speaking to the Hollywood Reporter.

YouTube, which has spent $150 million and is planning to invest $200 million to market new original channels, has been working on leveraging its original programming initiative for additional, targeted advertising revenue as well as a rebranding to elevate it from being a simple repository for amateur viral videos.

Online bigwigs have embraced original content as a differentiator vis a vis traditional cable operators, but this latest development demonstrates the opportunity for a new, hybrid reveue stream as well.
So, will Netflix see Lilyhammer, starring Steve Van Zandt, picked up? How about House of Cards with Kevin Spacey, or Arrested Development, which was originally dropped by the FOX TV network? AOL, Yahoo! and others are also investing in professionally produced entries.

Recipe Rehab is not the first show to make the leap from Web to TV: Annoying Orange and Fred both made the jump to Cartoon Network over the summer, while PBS is toying with packaging some of its educational Webisodes for kids with its standard afternoon programming blocks. But it's still a rare enough phenomenon to warrant aspirational approaches from online programmers across the board.