AOL rolls out 15 original Web series of its own

Partnering with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jonathan Adler, the company launches exclusive programming with themes that range from entertainment to food to tech.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
3 min read
AOL launches 15 new Web series and a host of A-list celebrities. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

It seems like the new trend these days is to create an original Web series. We have Yahoo, Netflix, and Hulu doing it, and now AOL is also giving more of a push to its online programming with 15 new shows.

The company announced Tuesday that it has enlisted A-list celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jonathan Adler to either host or star in original Web series. AOL plans to debut all of the shows on its AOL On Network, which is the company's video platform, and across its 1,700 partner sites. The series themes range from entertainment to food to tech.

"Consumers are watching web video everywhere and all the time -- on their plasma screens in their living rooms, on their mobile phones, and on their tablets," AOL On Original Video General Manager Karen Cahn said in a statement. "With our premium quality original programming, AOL is bridging the gap between what people see on broadcast TV and what they see online."

Here are descriptions of some of the shows:

  • City Ballet: Enter the graceful but competitive world of ballet through the eyes of executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker. This behind-the-scenes docudrama reveals what it takes to perform on the ultimate stage, the New York City Ballet.
  • #Candidlynicole: Fashion icon, creative director of House of Harlow 1960, and Winter Kate and mom, Nicole Richie, brings her unfiltered sense of humor and unique perspective to life in a new series based on Nicole's clever twitter feed and will follow the outspoken host as she muses on her own daily insights and shares her uncensored perspective on style, parenting, relationships and her journey through life.
  • Anthony Eats America: Actor and comedian Anthony Anderson eats his way across America one kitchen at a time, as he connects with home chefs to learn the secrets of their signatures dishes.
  • Inspiration Point with Jonathan Adler: Iconic potter, designer, author, and personality Jonathan Adler shares his perspectives on creativity, inspiration, and adding style, craft, and joy to your life. Everything Jonathan makes reflects the company motto, "If your heirs won't fight over it, we won't make it."
  • Second Chances: Gwyneth Paltrow and Tracy Anderson spend time with women who've overcome hardship, injury, and setbacks to triumph in the face of adversity. We'll hear their inspiring stories firsthand, whether fighting back from a career-ending injury or transforming their lives and bodies through diet and exercise.
  • Hardwired: Millennial tech gadget guru and digital influencer Justine Ezarik aka iJustine explores the latest in wearable technology.
  • Flat Out: High end documentary series following 17 year old NASCAR rising star, Dylan Kwasniewski, in his quest to become a top NASCAR driver and mark his spot in history on the race track. The new unscripted program follows Dylan's life as he balances being both a teenager and NASCAR driver.

Once one of the tech giants, AOL's popularity has waned in recent years. However, it's looking like 2013 might prove to be a better year for the company. AOL showed its first sign of revenue growth in the past eight years during the first quarter of 2013.

AOL has already introduced several original Web series, but it seems like the company is going for an extra push with this new slate of programming.

This news comes on the heels of Yahoo announcing Monday that it was also debuting six original shows. Yahoo's series range from Ed Helms playing a miniature crime fighter to chef Megan Mitchell giving tips on outdoor grilling to actor John Stamos interviewing celebrities about losing their virginity.