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YouTube will livestream Will Smith bungee jumping from a helicopter

Oh, the helicopter will be flying over the Grand Canyon too.

Will Smith tips his hat

Actor Will Smith will celebrate his birthday by throwing himself out of a helicopter that's tethered to his body by a glorified rubber band. 

Getty Images

YouTube announced on Thursday a slate of new programs it's backing, including a live broadcast of movie star Will Smith bungee jumping from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon on his 50th birthday, Sept. 25.

At a New York presentation for advertisers known as a Newfront, YouTube announced the Smith event, called The Jump Off, which will donate proceeds to charity. 

It also announced a new show backed by the NBA and executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter called Best Shot, a documentary series that follows the Newark Central High's Blue Devils basketball team as the young players are mentored by former NBA player Jay Williams. It will debut on the NBA YouTube channel this summer.

All the programs will be available on YouTube free with advertising, rather than on the video service's subscription tier, YouTube Red. 

Among the other new programs, Priyanka Chopra: If I Could Tell You Just One Thing will interview successful people and ask them for advice they believe "can change the world," and Jack Whitehall: Training Days will follow the comedian as he trains with elite soccer players.

The Google video site also renewed existing programming partnerships: a reimagination of Demi Lovato's Simply Complicated, Kevin Hart's What the Fit and the Slow-Mo Guys The Super Slow Show.

The announcements were all part of a pitch to marketers that they should shovel their ad dollars to YouTube rather than traditional TV. But YouTube has been grappling for more than a year to appease advertisers needs for safe content with its creators' expectations for creative freedom. 

Last year, an outcry about commercials running next to offensive videos sparked an advertiser boycott. When YouTube responded by more aggressively pulling ads off sensitive clips, it ended up outraging some uploaders who lost their moneymaking power -- an event dubbed "Adpocalypse."

First published May 3 at 7:08 p.m. PT.
Update May 4 at 8:17 a.m. PT: Adds more details about new and renewed programs. 

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