YouTube Red made headlines with their announcement of the Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai. They have another celebrity series premiering in the fall. Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television stars the Veronica Mars actor as himself, paired with a real detective (Samira Wiley) to investigate crimes. Rawson Marshall Thurber created the series and directed the pilot, which will blend action and comedy like this film Central Intelligence.
“I’ve always wanted to make an action movie since I was eight,” Thurber said after his TCA panel. “I’m very proud of Central Intelligence so I would never call it a stepping stone but certainly a bridge. It helped me learn more about action but then doing Ryan Hansen helped me even more and now I’m doing a straight action picture. We’ll find out if I’m ready. We’ll find out next July if I’m ready.”
Thurber wrote the show without a network in mind, but adapted it when YouTube Red became interested. Hansen makes several jokes at YouTube Red’s expense, comparing it to the porn site RedTube.
“I wrote it as a love letter to Ryan Hansen just because he makes me laugh more than anybody out there,” Thurber said. “We had no idea where we were going to go with it. When Suzanne read it and wanted to make it, it made it even better. We already had the jokes that he was on a show that was on a North Korean internet station. It was already online. When YouTube Red wanted to do it, it was perfect. Then when I heard YouTube Red, I’m like, ‘They know what that sounds like, right?’ We just made a bunch of jokes about it and Suzanne was cool.”
Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television joins the company of other self-deprecating comedies that take shots at their own networks. “The Simpsons, 30 Rock, all day long. That’s what I think makes Suzanne and YouTube Red cool. If they told us to take that stuff out, then we’re at the wrong place. There’s nothing like having a sense of humor about yourself that endears you to people.”
Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television also blends different formats. We see video that characters shoot with their phones, cinematic action sequences and television sitcom, all in different aspect ratios on screen.
“It’s actually shot on a cell phone,” Thurber said. “All those opening pieces are shot on a cell phone. It’s an iPhone 7. We shoot 4K of course. We record sound differently but it’s all shot on an iPhone. The show is shot on the Arri Alexa system. We change our format and our aspect ratio per second. We have the 16×9 or 1.78 which your standard television. Then we have 2.40 for the action pieces and we have 4:3 at the end for sitcom stuff.”
Look for Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television premieres on YouTube Red this fall.