Yahoo! has unveiled four original TV shows as part of its new digital content plan.
“Original content” are words you can expect to hear every day this year, judging by recent months, with Xbox, Sony and Amazon all competing to see who can come up with the best line-up of exclusive programming. The trend began when Netflix released House of Cards last year, putting it far ahead of its rival providers. Now, they are all racing to catch up and become producers too.
Speaking at the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts, Yahoo! announced two comedy TV series for 2015, as part of its aim to make “digital video more inspiring and entertaining for consumers and advertisers”.
The first is Other Space, a galactic adventure exec produced by Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig.
It is set in the early 22nd century, when the human race has mapped most of the known universe, failed to find alien life, and frankly gotten a little tired of the whole thing. Then, a spaceship on a routine collection mission stumbles into the greatest discovery in history: an alternate universe, far stranger and way more dangerous than ours. Now the ship’s crew – a collection of overmatched rookies, feuding siblings, burned-out veterans and obsolete robots – has to explore this new universe to try and find a way back home alive.
The second, from Smallville’s Mike Tollin, is called Sin City Saints and set in the front office of a fictional pro basketball expansion team.
The show will revolve around Jake Tullus, a Silicon Valley tycoon whose lifelong dream was to buy a pro basketball team but quickly finds he’s in over his head. The group he assembled won’t be much help.
Both programmes will span eight 30-minute episodes and will be released on Yahoo Screen next year in the Netflix style: all at once.
Yahoo News Global Anchor Katie Couric also announced another two shows. First, a series called World 3.0, featuring the disruptors, scientists, builders, innovators and social entrepreneurs who are “hacking” life as we know it. The second is called Now I Get It, which aims to help people better understand the news drivers and issues of the day by giving them a short, visual explanation in a shareable video.
“We are in a time of rapid and dramatic change in how people read and view content online. Our goal is to not only enable the future but also to help invent it,” said Kathy Savitt, CMO of Yahoo.