Disney Channel announced yesterday that it would be premiering a new original series in October titled Gabby Duran & The Unsittables. The show will feature 14-year-old YouTube celebrity Kylie Cantrall playing the role of Gabby.
The show will follow the titular character Gabby Duran as she begins a new job of babysitting alien children in her neighborhood. The release provided by Disney Channel describes the show as a “unique new family comedy series… Resourceful and courageous, Gabby steps up to the challenge to protect these youngsters and their secret identities, and prove she’s the best babysitter in the galaxy.”
Cantrall herself gained a significant following with her YouTube series Hello Kylie in 2014, where she interviewed musicians including Matty B, Pentatonix, and Jordyn Jones. Cantrall has also released some of her own music, and her most recent music video was published through Disney Channel Voices, a discovery program for young artists.
Cantrall has also made guest appearances on the popular Disney Channel show Bizaardvark, a show that drew heavy inspiration from the modern YouTube community. In a premise very similar to the late 2000’s show iCarly, Bizaardvark tells the story of two best friends making funny videos and songs for the internet. Cantrall was not the only YouTube celebrity to be featured on the show. Some prominent guest stars included YouTube personality and current late-night host Lilly Singh, Vine star Thomas Sanders, Grumpy Cat, Eva Gutowski, and Rosanna Pansino. In an interview with Variety, executive producer Eric Friedman notes that “The kids who are watching know this world, and seeing the real life influencers on ‘Bizaardvark’ helps make it more authentic and real.”
Bizaardvark was not without its critics, however, especially in regards to its casting of popular YouTube celebrity Jake Paul. Paul was originally set to be one of the main cast members for the show, but was ousted from the project by Disney after two seasons due to a class-action public nuisance lawsuit being filed against Paul by his neighbors. Additionally, Jake Paul’s brother, Logan Paul, was the subject of international backlash after posting a YouTube video of himself and his friends discovering and laughing at an apparent suicide victim in the Aokigahara forest in Japan.
Despite its past negative experiences with the Pauls, Disney Channel is still finding its future talent and inspiration in the YouTube community. Cantrall takes center stage in the trailer for Gabby Duran, with a bright and bubbly performance where she engages directly with the audience, who are framed as the creatures she is taking care of. The style and rhythm of the trailer is similar to that of one of Cantrall’s own YouTube videos, indicating that the show is likely to take its cues from the actress herself.
Gabby Duran & The Unsittables premieres Friday, October 11th on Disney Channel. You can watch the trailer below.