Los Angeles Business Journal

YouTube Celebrity Comedy Collective Gets Xbox Pilot Order

By Omar Shamout Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Jash, a YouTube comedy channel headquartered in Century City started by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera and others, has received a pilot commitment from Xbox Entertainment Studios.

The half-hour comedy variety show will be distributed through Xbox 360, Xbox One and other Microsoft devices as part of the company’s Xbox Originals initiative to create a wide variety of scripted content of interest to its gamer audience.

“Creating original TV content is a logical next step in our evolution,” said Jordan Levin, executive vice president of Xbox Entertainment Studios in a statement.

Silverman will host the pilot episode, which is to start filming in June. Each week, a different comedian will host and curate the show, which is intended to showcase rising and unsung talent in various video formats.

The pilot order comes despite low subscriber numbers for the year-old, YouTube-funded Jash when viewed alongside competing channels. Jash’s 140,000 subscribers represent a fraction of the more than 17 million racked up by Smosh, a pop-culture comedy channel.

Jash features mostly experimental and surreal comedic shorts created by talent like Silverman and Cera, as well as comedians Reggie Watts and Tim & Eric.

Xbox, a Redmond, Wash., unit of Microsoft Corp., has also partnered with Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott to produce content based around its popular “Halo” video game franchise. Spielberg will executive produce a television series, while Scott will executive produce a digital feature.