Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze is sponsoring a YouTube contest seeking comedians.
YouTube is running its first contest that lets aspiring comedians develop episodic comedic series for its huge audience.
Beginning Thursday, entrants will upload the first of three shorts in an attempt to engage and build an audience and keeping them laughing for nine weeks.
In Round One, submissions begin on May 24 and end of May 31. A panel of Hollywood agents, writers, producers and executives will choose 20 finalists. On June 7, YouTube users will pick 10 to move on to the next round.
In Round Two, the finalists will develop a second episode to be voted on by the YouTube community June 19. The top 5 advance to the next round.
In the final round, the five create a final video, with YouTube users once again casting their votes for a winner, which will be announced at the site on July 12.
Sierra Mist, owned by PepsiCo, is giving the winner gear, a brand assignment and a production budget to create an original comedy short to air on SierraMist.com. The winner also gets a trip to meet comedian The Lonely Island and attend a VIP screening of their movie “Hot Rod.”
“Some of the best YouTube comedians use the episodic format and they’ve been hugely popular as a result,” said Jamie Byrne, head of product marketing for YouTube, in a statement. “We’ve seen an evolution on YouTube from one-hit viral videos, to people building passionate audiences that tune in to see every new video.