Just days after analyst Michael Nathanson downgraded Roku shares, Roku has announced a significant ramp-up of its so-far-limited original content strategy. Roku, which doesn’t charge users to stream content over its Roku Channel, plans to develop 50 “ad-friendly” new shows for 18-49 year-olds between now and 2024, and is now taking pitches for scripted and unscripted shows.
Peacock has a serial TV problem and is counting on a pandemic-delayed pipeline of programming to help overcome it. More than a year after its launch, NBCUniversal’s streaming service lacks the buzzy original TV shows of its rivals or even the fan-friendly Star Trek offerings of Paramount Plus, the ViacomCBS service formerly known as CBS All Access. And while top brass praised Peacock as “headed in the right direction” during Comcast’s earnings call with Wall Street analysts last week, the lack of breakthrough hits, considered key to streamer growth, suggests the service has much work to do before it becomes truly competitive with its rivals.
The company promotes Biancuzzo from EVP and group head to lead the new business unit that will develop and produce original programming for distribution to television stations, broadcast and cable networks and streaming services.
The former agent, FX exec and Anonymous Content manager will continue to oversee Paramount TV Studios on top of absorbing some of Julie McNamara’s responsibilities.
Starz has named Christina Davis to lead its original programming team. Davis, a producer and former CBS executive, will be president original programming at the premium cable outlet. She fills the post formerly held by Carmi Zlotnik, who departed in January after a decade and signed an exclusive producing deal at Apple soon after that.
Roku has vehemently denied an anonymously sourced Digiday report that it is meeting with media companies to discuss making original shows. “We are not working on originals,” a Roku rep told Next TV in an email exchange.
David Hudson will oversee the development and production of all original programming for Katz Networks as EVP of original programming and has hired Sophia Kateris Kelley as SVP of original programming.
The trend of station groups creating and syndicating their own shows has proven itself as a worthy way to create cost-effective programming that speaks to local and regional audiences, according to a panel of executives who spoke Wednesday at NATPE.
Sing Like a Star will air in 33 Tegna markets and be hosted by Arthel Neville. It will be produced out of WWL New Orleans and premieres Sept. 16.
Sister Circle will be Tegna’s second original program to launch this fall. It will also air live on TV One.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is talking to Hollywood studios and agencies about producing TV-quality shows with an eye toward launching original programming by late summer, people familiar with the matter say. In meetings with major talent agencies including Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, William Morris Endeavor and ICM Partners, Facebook has indicated it is willing to commit to production budgets as high as $3 million per episode, people familiar with the situation say. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Snap Inc.’s ambitious effort to create television-like content has old and new media companies alike clamoring to learn how to produce shows for Snapchat’s lucrative young audience. Over the past several months, Snap has signed original show deals with NBCU, Turner, A+E Networks, Discovery, BBC, ABC, ESPN, Vice Media, Vertical Networks, the NFL and MGM. It is also in discussions with CBS and Fox. Todayy, Snap plans to unveil another show deal with Food Network-owner Scripps Networks Interactive. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.
Netflix’s stock surged 20% after hours on Monday as original hit shows like Stranger Things and Narcos helped the streaming video company crush Wall Street expectations.
Three years after it entered the original content business, Netflix looks to have originals make up about half of its offerings, CFO David Wells told investors today at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. “It will take us a couple more years” to hit that target, he says. “We’re a third to halfway to where we want to be.”
Apple has held preliminary conversations with Hollywood executives over producing original entertainment content in a move that may position it to compete with Netflix. The move could set up a showdown between Apple and Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
The Amazon.com original series Transparent picked up two Golden Globe Awards Sunday, beating rivals such as HBO and highlighting the progress the online retailer has made as a player in Hollywood. The awards will likely encourage the Seattle-based e-commerce company and other online entertainment networks to continue investing in original programming.
Embattled Internet giant Yahoo plans to launch a series of original programs this fall as it seeks to better capitalize on its sizable audience.Yahoo will debut eight short-form series, starting Oct. 3, which feature such actresses as Judy Greer (Love & Other Drugs) and Niecy Nash (Reno 911) and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me).
Hulu takes a cautious step into original content today with the premiere of filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s A Day in the Life, a six-episode documentary series that follows a notable person around for 24 hours.
To stay competitive, relatively small cable channels that once relied on reality shows and repeats of others’ scripted programs are now showing original comedies and dramas.
Netflix Inc. is in advanced talks to distribute a forthcoming television series directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, said people familiar with the talks. If such a deal were to come to fruition it would add a new competitor to the television industry by increasing the degree to which Netflix vies with premium cable channels likeInc.’s HBO.