- YouTube next year will stream a reality competition show hosted by James Charles, the beauty influencer that Coty's CoverGirl makeup brand named as its first male spokesperson. The four-part series will feature aspiring makeup artists vying for a chance to win $50,000 after demonstrating their skills in several challenges, Variety reported.
- Charles, celebrity guests and industry veterans will judge the contestants before naming a winner in the final episode of the show, whose working title currently is "James Charles Instant Influencer." The show's casting website, jamescharlescasting.com, is accepting applications until Nov. 21 midnight PST. Entrants must be U.S. residents 18 or older and have an active YouTube beauty channel, per the show's rules.
- Charles and his team will pick six finalists among the applicant pool and fly them to Los Angeles for the show's taping. The series will air next spring on Charles' YouTube channel, with new episodes posted each week, Variety reported. Charles announced the show on his YouTube channel on Nov. 15.
Charles' reality competition show is one of the first signs that Google-owned YouTube is revamping its strategy to create original programming amid growing competition of providers of streamed video content. The video-sharing platform is funding the show's production as it de-emphasizes scripted programming and shifts toward personality-driven, music and educational content, Variety reported.
YouTube needs to cultivate those strengths in influencer content to differentiate its service from rivals that focus on scripted programs. That market is growing crowded as Netflix and Hulu face off against new and upcoming entrants like Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and BET+. YouTube has had limited success with scripted shows, such as "Cobrai Kai" that's based on the movie "The Karate Kid," and will air its third season next year, per the show's YouTube channel.
Charles is well-suited for an original show as a homegrown YouTube influencer who gained a massive following by defying social norms as a teenage boy providing makeup tutorials. He parlayed that status into a groundbreaking role as CoverGirl's first CoverBoy in 2016. Since then, he's become one of the top beauty influencers with 16.3 million YouTube subscribers, 15.9 million followers on Instagram and 4.3 million on Twitter.
YouTube's transition to personality-driven programming includes shows like actress Shay Mitchell's "Almost Ready," "Kevin Hart: What the Fit" and YouTube creator Liza Koshy's "Liza On Demand." Next year, YouTube will air a documentary with Paris Hilton and trick-show artists Dude Perfect, opening its platform to appeal to a wider variety of viewers, Variety reported.