Known for fashion, style and beauty, the company said Wednesday it is collaborating with a variety of production companies to expand in documentary, scripted series and health, food and wellness tutorials. The new features are to be rolled out this year as R29 Originals with help from a fresh infusion of $50 million in funding.
"We're going to take some risks. There's going to be some topics that some consider risky," said Amy Emmerich, executive vice-president of programming.
In partnership with Planned Parenthood, celebrities such as Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff will explore men's and women's reproductive health issues in "Her Shorts," a series of scripted films.
Kassidy Brown and Allison Rapson, co-founders of "We Are the XX," will travel around the world seeking out women revolutionaries, leaders and activists on the front lines of feminism.
A third, co-produced with wifey.tv (founded by Jill Soloway and Rebecca Odes), is a dark comedy called "The Skinny." It follows a feminist comedian in Los Angeles as she tries to "live, love and get over her bulimia." Jessie Kahnweiler writes, directs and stars.
Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky were behind "Web Therapy" and are teaming on "S(asterisk)!tty Boyfriends" and the love struggles of Amanda. She's the perfect spark — according to Bucatinsky at Refinery29's NewFronts — for millennials like her wondering "how does an educated self-confident young woman wind up dating yet another pleated shorts wearing iguana-loving loser when she just peeled herself away from the last one?"