Announcing the NewTeeVee Top 10 Breakout Video Stars of 2008

Lucas Cruikshank (Fred)

In many ways, 15-year old Lucas Cruikshank’s hyper-active high-pitched YouTube phenomenon Fred is the cultural landmark that separates the young from the old. Kids can’t get enough of his antics as evidenced by Fred becoming the most-subscribed-to channel on YouTube with nearly 650,000 followers. New Fred videos break regularly break the million-play mark within 24 hours of being released.

And the old folks? Well, they just don’t get it.

But Cruikshank does, which is how he was able to parlay “Fred’s” fame into actual money. He signed a five-figure sponsorship deal with Zipit Wireless and did brand integration with 20th Century Fox and Walden Media to promote the major motion picture City of Ember. Not bad for a kid still in high school.

It’s not just Cruikshank’s business acumen that deserves praise. If you don’t go into a seizure upon watching his frenetic videos, you’ll notice they are each created with a purpose and intention. He writes, shoots and edits everything himself to create a professional-looking (if a little rough) weekly series.

Fred’s popularity has caught Hollywood’s eye, and Cruikshank is now taking meetings with Hollywood studios to plot out the next phase of his young career.

(C.A.)