In 2008, Youtuber Colleen Ballinger-Evans created the character Miranda Sings as a joke. That joke ended up being a huge success with the Miranda Sings Youtube channel having almost 6 million subscribers, and on January 14 Netflix announced it was ordering an 8-episode scripted series based on Miranda Sings called Haters Back Off.
Haters Back Off will go beyond the Miranda Sings Youtube videos and take an in-depth look at her crazy family life. Ballinger-Evans loosely based the persona of Miranda off people she had met in college. Unlike her channel’s name suggests, Miranda can’t sing, but that’s the point. But what Miranda lacks in talent she makes up for in the confidence that she is a star on the rise, and she is characterized by wearing unflattering clothing and a scary amount of lipstick. While Miranda may not possess any real star-quality, on Ballinger-Evans’ other Youtube channel, PsychoSoprano, we see that the singer/actress/comedian really can sing.
Watching Miranda sing can be painful, but at the same time, her undying confidence is inspiring. Miranda is the type of person we all wish we could be, to a certain extent. She’s bold, confident, and fearless despite her awful singing, awkward dancing, and malapropisms. Ballinger-Evans/Miranda receives a lot of hateful comments from those who aren’t aware the Youtube character is an act, and Miranda addresses the negativity with her signature line, “haters back off,” thus the title of her upcoming series.
Ballinger-Evans has been working to land a scripted series for Miranda Sings for a while now, and the proposed series received two commitment offers before landing at Netflix. Ballinger-Evans, Chris Ballinger (her brother), Perry Rein, and Gigi McCreery developed Haters Back Off and will executive produce alongside Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry from The Firm. McCreery will also serve as the series’ showrunner.
This series makes Ballinger-Evans the first Youtube personality to get her own scripted TV show. Other Youtube stars have landed unscripted gigs on TV or Hulu like E!’s late night talk show, The Grace Helbig Show, starring Grace Helbig and Hulu’s docuseries, RocketJump, with Freddie Wong. Ballinger-Evans may be the first Youtuber to successfully develop a scripted series, but it looks like several other internet stars may be close behind. Vine star Andrew Bechelor is currently developing a scripted comedy with Fox and HBO is working on a Issa Rae series.