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Showtime Picks Up Kristen Dunst Series As YouTube Shutter SVOD Plans

In November YouTube revealed their plans to shift away from original programs under a subscription model, shifting towards ad-supported content.

The revised plan meant that starting this year YouTube would be offering all Originals for free -- at the very least ad-supported like the other content on the website.

It was an interesting move, one that almost was an admission of defeat that their attempts to launch YouTube Premium, their SVOD offering on the platform, hadn't been as successful as they had hoped.

Back when the move was announced, Business Insider suggested less than one percent of YouTube's users had signed up to the Premium service.

The shift to AVOD (ad-supported video on demand) also marked an end to the production of their scripted developments.

This freed up projects like 'On Becoming a God in Central Florida', which was picked up by Showtime.

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Showtime Picks Up Kristen Dunst Series After YouTube Shutter SVOD Plans
Kirsten Dunst and Théodore Pellerin in On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Photo: Showtime.

The series was announced back in 2017 and had been picked up originally by AMC, but eventually shifted hands and had been moved over to YouTube to be released on their Red/Premium service. Now, the series has been picked up by Showtime after reported talks between Sony TV and YouTube fell through.

The nine-episode series stars Kristen Dunst alongside Théodore Pellerin, Ted Levine, Mel Rodriguez and Beth Ditto, with Julie Benz, Alexander Skarsgård and Mary Steenburgen also appearing.

Dunst stars as a water park employee on minimum-wage who decides to scam her way up the ranks of a cult-like pyramid scheme which ruined her family.

The shift to Showtime also came with the announcement that the series would premiere on August 25 this year, meaning the project would finally see the light of day.

It's not great news for YouTube, which has struggled to make much impact in the original content territory, aside from their 'Cobra Kai' series -- a spin-off from 'The Karate Kid' films -- which was renewed in May for a third season.

It's also interesting to see YouTube shift away from competing against streaming giant Netflix -- and other premium offerings like HBOGo and Hulu -- in the lead-up to the launches of Apple and Disney's own streaming services.

Featured image: Showtime.