Felix Kjellberg, the Swedish video personality better known as "PewDiePie," is starring in a video game-inspired reality series called Scare PewDiePie that's set to premiere in early 2016. But the show won't be coming to standard YouTube, where Kjellberg made his name — instead, it will be available exclusively on YouTube Red, the ad-free subscription service that Google announced today.
YouTube Red, which Google will launch Oct. 28 for $9.99 per month, will allow subscribers to watch videos across YouTube without ads. The membership will also give members the option to download videos directly through the YouTube smartphone and tablet apps for offline viewing. Subscribers will also be able to play videos in the background, so they can use other apps on their phone while a YouTube video plays. U.S.-based users will be able to take advantage of a free 30-day trial for YouTube Red.
Starting in 2016, YouTube Red will also give subscribers exclusive access to original series and movies "from some of YouTube's biggest creators," Google said today. Those projects are known collectively as YouTube Originals, and Google announced a slate of 10 different shows today, including Scare PewDiePie.
Produced by Walking Dead creator Skybound Entertainment and YouTube network Maker Studios, Scare PewDiePie puts the eponymous video star in "terrifying real-life situations inspired by his favorite video games," the companies said in a press release. Cameras follow Kjellberg (above center) as he "scares himself silly with hidden surprises around each corner." Kjellberg didn't know what he was in for before the filming of each episode, so his spooked reactions are genuine, according to the producers.
"Shooting a show like this in a completely new format has been so much fun," said Kjellberg. "We just wrapped shooting but I still feel unsure every day if I'm safe or not from another scare." Scare PewDiePie is likely meant to build on Kjellberg's history of doing Let's Play videos of horror video games — videos that are famous for his over-the-top reactions to scary stuff.
Kjellberg's first book, a collection of faux-inspirational sayings called This Book Loves You, was released yesterday in the U.S. by Razorbill. His company, Pewdie Productions, earned more than $7 million in 2014. His YouTube channel, the most popular channel on the site with nearly 40 million subscribers, reached a total of 10 billion views last month. Kjellberg will turn 26 this Saturday.