Yahoo! steps confidently into the realm of original online programming.
Yahoo! is diving into the realm of the scripted series, having announced two new original comedies at its Digital Content NewFronts presentation on Monday. The brand new TV series will be delivered on its website and mobile app, making the internet corporation the latest to join the rapidly expanding market for digital video content.
Pictured With His Wife, Paul Feig Has Been Recruited To Help Yahoo! Get In On Original Programming.
Following the success of companies such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Microsoft, Yahoo! is throwing its hat into the ring to compete with traditional TV programming to attract viewers to its online platform. Yahoo!'s first two original series will be comedies titled: Other Space and Sin City Saints and will also be available to those with access to Apple TV and Roku.
More: 'SNL' introduced to China via Sohu Video, despite censorship.
The company is using the firepower of established Hollywood veterans Paul Feig and Mike Tollin as confidence in its new business step and is looking to get the comedies online by the end of this year and in 2015. Feig, the writer-producer behind NBC's critically acclaimed Freaks & Geeks and director of hit comedy Bridesmaids, will exec produce Other Space. The series will take the form of eight half-hour episodes chronicling a misfit group of space adventurers who stumble upon an alternate universe, according to Variety.
Excited to announce my new project w/@YahooScreen. It's a sci-fi comedy & my 1st series since F&G. Stay tuned for more details. #together— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) April 28, 2014
Meanwhile Tollin, whose credits include Smallville and One Tree Hill, is teaming with director Bryan Gordon ('Curb Your Enthusiasm') for eight half-hour episodes of Sin City Saints, which follows the exploits of a Las Vegas-based pro basketball team.
Yahoo!'s chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt said two more longform scripted projects will be announced in the coming weeks. "We want the world's best showrunners, writers and directors to tell the best stories," she revealed. She also noted that Yahoo!'s audience scale gives it a leg-up in the competition.
"They tend not to release the (measurement) numbers because it's difficult to get quantity for even the most acclaimed shows," explained Savitt. "The reason we're different is we drive big audiences." The company is apparently looking at quickly rivalling the top of the competition using producers with strong records.
Yahoo! has dabbled in entertainment before, having tried to build a comedy supply of originals anchored by SNL sketches, clips from Comedy Central and the Onion, promoting Netflix's binge viewing philosophy.
More: Hulu's big original programming plans for 2014.
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