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John Krasinski's feel-good YouTube series 'Some Good News' is about to go primetime

John Krasinski spun up Some Good News, his feel-good YouTube show, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The first episode hit the internet on March 30. The scrappy, DIY nature of the broadcast was a big part of its allure: here was a celebrity using his fame and connections to spread a little joy whilst stuck at home with small children, like so many regular Americans.

Some Good News became an instant hit. Each installment of the eight-episode YouTube series has over two million views apiece; Krasinski’s first episode has racked up a whopping 17 million. Aside from SGN’s homespun charm, Krasinski’s guests made the show special. His wife, Emily Blunt, made frequent funny cameos. The original Broadway cast of Hamilton performed over Zoom for a young fan. The cast of The Office reunited virtually to marry off a couple. Billie Eilish and Chance the Rapper gathered to throw high school seniors a social-distancing prom.

Krasinski called SGN quits after eight joyful installments, though just this week, the show won a Special Achievement Webby Award for spreading cheer during the pandemic. On Thursday, it was revealed that SGN will live on after the coronavirus health emergency has abated. CBSViacom acquired the digital series this week for an unknown sum; Krasinski will serve as SGN’s executive producer and have an on-air role in some capacity, though no longer as host.

“Could not be more excited and proud to be partnering with CBS-Viacom to be able to bring Some Good News to so many more people!” Krasinski said. “From the first episode, our goal was to create a news show dedicated entirely to good news. Never did I expect to be joining the ranks of such a historic news organization as CBS.”

While it’s awesome that Krasinski spun altruism into bonafide viral content, the entertainment industry is, alas, a business. Selling SGN to CBS smacks of opportunism. While I can’t fault Krasinski for making money, it’s still kind of gross that something that started out as pro-bono entertainment has become part of the corporate media machine. Oh well. Nothing good can last, as they say.