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Saturday, July 07, 2018

Nickelodeon's 'Pinky Malinky' To Premiere Exclusively On Netflix Later This Year [Updated]

Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), the parent company of the Nickelodeon brand, today announced that Nickelodeon's upcoming animated series Pinky Malinky will premiere later this year exclusively on the subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) service Netflix, as part of Viacom's initiate to identify intellectual property within it vaults that could be an ideal fit for a digital or linear programmer outside of Viacom!

Update (7/7): It is being reported that Netflix Brazil (Brasil) will debut Pinky Malinky on Friday 17th August 2018. It is currently unknown whether the series will also premiere on additional Netflix services, such as on Netflix USA and Netflix UK, on the same day.


Update: Under the deal with Netflix, which hasn’t previously been announced, Nickelodeon will make two seasons—59 episodes—of Pinky Malinky, a cartoon mockumentary about a positive teenage hotdog living among humans. Netflix will stream it globally, while Viacom will have the licensing rights for consumer products, such as toys and dolls. Viacom and Netflix declined to comment on financial terms or length of the deal.

Pinky Malinky is a brand-new fly-on-the-wall reality show that follows the everyday life of Pinky, an infectiously positive hot dog living in a human world. With his best friends Babs and JJ by his side, Pinky reaches for the stars in the small town of Sackenhack. Through his good spirits and sausage sensibilities, Pinky proves that a "wiener" is only one small letter away from being a "WINNER!"

Using the tropes of a mockumentary and reality show format, Pinky and his friends will talk directly to the camera and the audience to share their absurd and silly take on real life. At times, all children feel like they don't fit in and Pinky's undeniably unique point of view as a literal wiener amongst humans will allow kids to laugh at his familiar struggles and enjoy his unusual perspective on the challenges of being a school-aged kid. By always reaching for the stars, Pinky pushes himself further than anyone could imagine. Pinky and his friends' humorous experiences will also be shared across social media and Nickelodeon's digital platforms.


Co-created and co-executive produced by Chris Garbutt and Rikke Asbjoern (The Amazing World of Gumball) and executive produced by Scott Kreamer (Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness), the trio are a part of the Artist Collective, an internal diverse group of experienced creators who mentor and support up-and-coming talent while also collaborating to cultivate, challenge and inspire Nickelodeon's development pipeline.

Pinky Malinky will star Lucas Grabeel (Glenn Martin DDS, I Kissed A Vampire) as Pinky Malinky, Diamond White (The Haunted Hathaways) as Babs Buttman, and Nathan Kress (iCarly) as JJ Jameson.

Produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., the original animated series will join Nickelodeon's growing roster of content driven by creators discovered all over the world. A second season has been greenlit and is currently in development.

Pinky Malinky wouldn't be the first time Nickelodeon and Netflix have partnered. In 2016, Netflix partnered with Nutz Productions to produce a American remake of Nickelodeon Israel's hit drama series The Greenhouse, which debuted on the streaming platform in 2017 titled Greenhouse Academy.

Below is Viacom's original blog post announcing the news that Pinky Malinky will be debuting on Netflix, via Viacom's corporate blog:

Viacom Activates Powerful Studio Model Growth Driver As MTV, Nick Move Into Third-Party Production

Pinky Malinky is an upbeat teenager who has a lot in common with his peers: he posts rabidly on social media, he hangs out nonstop with his two best pals, and he constantly must navigate the social pressures of school and life. But there’s one very important thing that will make Pinky unique among Nickelodeon characters (besides the fact that he’s a talking hotdog): when his show debuts later this year, fans will find him exclusively on Netflix.

But Pinky won’t likely be alone for long – across Viacom’s ecosystem, brands are digging into their vaults to identify intellectual property that could be an ideal fit for a digital or linear programmer outside of Viacom. MTV, under the banner of MTV Studios, is for the first time cracking open its rich, 35-year archive to offer its iconic, youth-centric content – Real World, Daria, Aeon Flux, the Emmy Award-winning Made, just to start – in new or reimagined form on non-Viacom platforms. In addition to strategically tapping the 200 titles in its massive library, MTV Studios will churn out new ones, including, to start, The Valley (working title), about a group of friends growing up in the U.S.-Mexico border town of Nogales, and MTV’s Straight Up Ghosted, in which victims of this mobile-age abandonment will confront their disappearing former intimates.


MTV Studios Animation from Viacom on Vimeo.

Similar efforts will follow at other Viacom networks.

This studio model – under which Viacom will license and produce new episodes of fully owned content for third parties – will present an enormous growth opportunity, as the company’s brands increasingly feed the insatiable global demand for premium content.

Viacom is uniquely positioned to do this. The company’s voluminous original content libraries house an enormous number of beloved properties that speak deeply to their fans. Its archives stretch back decades – and, in the case of Paramount Pictures, more than a century. Its properties resonate deeply with high-value audiences: kids (Nickelodeon), African-Americans (BET), youth (MTV), the LGBTQ community (Logo), and more. Viacom’s global footprint means that those audiences stretch across cultures and borders. As the first port-of-call for creatives pitching shows tailor-made for these audiences, Viacom’s brands are keenly aware of what is in the market. Its production expertise is second to none.

And even as these sorts of deals multiply, Viacom will retain all consumer products rights for all properties, fueling the company’s increasingly robust consumer products operation.

The possibilities for third-party licensing and production are practically limitless. Pinky Malinky – which will feature Nick branding at the show open and embodies Nickelodeon’s patented spirit of fun and surprising stories and characters – is just the first of up to a dozen properties that the brand is positioning for reboots or co-productions this year alone.

“Proliferating distribution platforms create incremental demand for VIAB’s [Viacom’s] content because high-quality branded content is one of the most valuable forms of differentiation for competing distribution platforms,” Needham declared in a bullish March analysis of the company’s stock. “VIAB’s film and television libraries represent differentiated, globally scalable, long-lived content.”

Take, for example, Jack Ryan, the Tom Clancy action hero who fought his way through five Paramount Pictures films, starting with 1990’s The Hunt for Red October. The quintuplet of movies grossed hundreds of millions of dollars and still carries strong brand recognition and a built-in fanbase. But while there is no obvious basecamp for Ryan within Viacom’s current brand archipelago, his bulletproof vest is a perfect fit for Amazon Video, which will debut the 10-part Jack Ryan series in August.

This branching out into third-party content production has been subtly underway for some time, both in the United States and abroad. Paramount Television, the production arm of Paramount Pictures that is producing Jack Ryan, has quietly built a $400 million-per-year business from scratch by producing premium content like Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and USA Network’s Shooter.

In May, Viacom International Studios (VIS) united the extensive production capabilities of wholly Viacom-owned Argentinian broadcaster Telefe and majority-owned Brazilian comedy brand Porta dos Fundos with Viacom’s Miami-based production operations, creating a multi-lingual machine that will develop, produce and distribute original content around the world. A matrix of SVOD, pay TV and free-to-air distribution deals will place VIS-produced long-form series (Borges on Netflix in Latin America), cinematic adaptations (Telefe’s Animal on Fox Networks’ platforms in Latin America), telenovelas (Vikki RPM on Caracol Televisión in Colombia), and co-productions (Club 57 on Rainbow Group in Italy and Nickelodeon elsewhere) in diverse markets and maximize the potential of formerly regional or local properties.

These licensing deals will therefore sprinkle tastes of Nickelodeon and MTV and Telefe and other Viacom properties throughout the global content ecosystem, while segmenting the full brand experience for consumers who subscribe to a Viacom linear or digital distributor. Even so, this nascent third-party production is already acting as a powerful growth driver as Viacom diversifies outside of its core television business under President and CEO Bob Bakish.

“Building on the success of Paramount Television and Telefe’s quickly growing production business, we’re going to much more aggressively tap into the huge demand for content and unlock more of our IP and production and creative capabilities to drive incremental revenues from third-party platforms,” Bakish said on Viacom’s second-quarter 2018 earnings call in April. “This isn’t just an idea. … there is a lot of interest from SVOD partners in licensing library properties from MTV and Nickelodeon IP for brand-new interpretations. At the same time, we’re also developing new IP for the sector and have already closed deals for brand-new original Nick IP and animation with third parties and we see more in the pipeline.”

--Ends--

Also, from Deadline:

Nickelodeon To Produce Animated TV Show ‘Pinky Malinky’ For Netflix

Nickelodeon will produce a new animated series for Netflix based on its character Pinky Malinky, as Viacom’s cable networks begin to develop shows for digital outlets and other third parties.

This new strategy, which Viacom dubs the “studio model,” marks an attempt to take advantage of streaming services and mobile carriers to capture audiences that can’t be found on pay TV. Viacom’s six flagship networks — among them, MTV, Comedy Central, BET — will begin identifying characters or shows that could be reinterpreted for new audiences.

MTV, under the banner of MTV Studios, has begun to pick through its 35-year archives of youth-centric content (Real World, Aeon Flux, Made) to re-imagine its shows for non-Viacom platforms. In addition to tapping its library, MTV will produce new shows, starting with The Valley, about a group of friends growing up in the Mexican border town of Nogales, Texas.

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish talked about the initiative during the company’s second quarter earnings call.

“We’re already mining our libraries of IP to create long-form episodic content that might not fit our linear brands today but could work for others,” Bakish told investors. “For example, there is a lot of interest from SVOD partners in licensing library properties from MTV and Nickelodeon IP for brand-new interpretation.”

The strategy is a risky one for Viacom, because these digital platforms compete for viewers with its cable TV networks. But media company needs to identify new ways to make money at a time when advertising revenue and fees from pay TV operators have stagnated.

A CBS-led rescue doesn’t appear to be in the immediate future. Efforts by Viacom’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, to merge the media company with its broadcast sibling have become mired in a court battle. CBS sued Redstone in an attempt to minimize her control over the company and kill the merger.

Viacom has been branching out into third-party content production for some time. Paramount Television, a production arm of the Paramount Pictures film studio, quietly built a $400 million a year business from scratch on the strength of such content as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and USA Network’s Shooter.

The international arm, Viacom International Studios, brought together its wholly owned Argentinian broadcaster Telefe and majority-owned Brazilian comedy brand Porta dos Fundos with Viacom’s Miami-based production operations to create global content.

“Building on the success of Paramount Television and Telefe’s quickly growing production business, we’re going to much more aggressively tap into the huge demand for content and unlock more of our IP,” Bakish said on the recent earnings call.

Pinky Malinky, a hotdog living in a human world who along with his two best friends, made his first appearance on Nickelodeon in 2016. At the time, the character had an active social-media presence. The show uses the tropes of a mockumentary and reality show format, with Pinky and his friends will talk directly to the camera and the audience to share their silly take on real life.

--Ends--

From The Information:

Left on Merger Sidelines, Viacom Strikes Netflix Deal

A frenzy of merger activity has taken over the media sector in the past week, but one company, MTV’s owner Viacom, has been left on the sidelines. Even CBS, which like Viacom is controlled by the Redstone family, rebuffed a merger proposal from Viacom. So Viacom CEO Bob Bakish is trying to revive Viacom’s business by making shows for Netflix and other streaming services.

Plenty of big studios produce shows for streaming services, but Viacom, in an unusual move, plans to have its own networks create the shows. The first, Mr. Bakish revealed in an exclusive interview, will be a Nickelodeon-branded show. That’s uncommon because Netflix competes with cable channels, so Viacom risks driving audiences to the streaming service instead of its own cable networks. But with its revenues stagnant, Viacom needs to find new ways to make money.

THE TAKEAWAY
- Viacom’s Nickelodeon to make show for Netflix
- Viacom’s cable networks to make other shows for streaming rivals
- CEO Bakish says media M&A creates poaching opportunities

In the interview, the Viacom CEO also said that he sees an opportunity to poach talent arising from the intense merger activity now underway—AT&T completed its purchase of Time Warner last week while Comcast and Disney fight over 21st Century Fox.

“These companies are going to be tied up in massive integration and cultural disruption, which is what you are going to see without a doubt with Time Warner and Fox,” he said. “People are looking for new homes, and we already see that on the talent and production side.”

Mr. Bakish is making the best of a tough situation. Viacom has no suitors because its business is seen as weaker than most of its rivals. Viacom’s channels tend to draw younger viewers, who are more likely to cancel cable in favor of streaming services. And they don’t carry live sports, which makes them less appealing to advertisers. Much of the revenue decline was due to Viacom’s film studio. But in its cable channel unit, the biggest part of the company’s business, ad revenue and fees from pay TV operators have both flatlined in that period. Viacom stock has plunged 65% since 2014.

That decline was one of the reasons that Viacom’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, pushed to combine the company with the other public media company her family controls, CBS. But that effort prompted a fight with CBS CEO Les Moonves that is now mired in litigation. CBS in May filed a lawsuit against Ms. Redstone in an attempt to take away her control of the company and quash a proposed merger. The lawsuit is scheduled to go before a Delaware judge in October.

Mr. Bakish, who started as acting CEO at Viacom in late 2016 when the company first explored, and failed to merge, with CBS, declined to comment on the situation with its sister company.

“Throughout the whole arc of the CBS...whatever you want to call it...I told the organization and the management team that we don’t know what’s going to happen, so focus on executing,” he said. “That continues to be our mantra.”

Mr. Bakish’s focus is on expanding Viacom’s business. The Nickelodeon show he has agreed to make for Netflix is the first that Mr. Bakish hopes to make for various streaming services and mobile carriers through its six flagship networks, including Comedy Central, MTV and BET. To that end, MTV announced Thursday that it is launching MTV Studios to develop remakes of a number of shows, including “Real World” and “Daria,” to sell to other platforms.

“We are in a range of conversations with all of the people that are widely seen as buying content that crosses both the streaming video space as well as other areas,” Mr. Bakish said, adding he expects to announce a number of content deals this year.

Other entertainment companies sell programs to streaming services, although that is likely to change as more launch Netflix rivals. Disney, for instance, is expected to focus its production activities on the streaming services it is launching. Meanwhile, entertainment companies have increasingly pulled back from licensing reruns from their own networks as Netflix has increasingly been seen as a rival. Netflix has also become fussier about the reruns it licenses.

Viacom has direct experience with the competitive impact that Netflix can pose. As was widely reported at the time, ratings for Nickelodeon, including its most popular show, “SpongeBob SquarePants,” declined sharply around 2011–12 as more Nickelodeon shows began appearing on Netflix. Nickelodeon’s deal with Netflix ended in 2013.

Teenage Hotdog

Under the deal with Netflix, which hasn’t previously been announced, Nickelodeon will make two seasons—59 episodes—of “Pinky Malinky,” a cartoon mockumentary about a positive teenage hotdog living among humans. Netflix will stream it globally, while Viacom will have the licensing rights for consumer products, such as toys and dolls. Viacom and Netflix declined to comment on financial terms or length of the deal.

A Netflix spokesman declined to comment.

“This will bring new consumers to the brand, and some will only consume it there, but some will consume it in more places,” Mr. Bakish said.

Mr. Bakish declined to provide revenue projections for the new initiative. But he pointed to Viacom’s new television production business at its Paramount Pictures studio, which launched less than three years ago and is expected to generate $400 million licensing content to other outlets as an example of what the new effort could bring. Paramount Television with Anonymous Content, a Culver City, Calif.–based production company, has made a show for Netflix, “13 Reasons Why,” but this is the first time that one of Viacom’s cable channels is creating a show for Netflix with their brand.

“This is all about finding ways to keep Nickelodeon front and center,” Mr. Bakish said. Viacom is also open to letting Netflix or other platforms stream some of the shows from its library, a spokesman said, although it will be cautious about which shows it makes available.

The new strategy has its risks. It could “accelerate the shift from the channels, but it’s a classic innovator's dilemma and it’s got to be done,” said Dave Morgan, head of Simulmedia, a New York–based advertising technology company. “Creating differentiated content makes sense, but it is not without risk.”

To be sure, given its relatively small size—its revenue is about a quarter of Disney’s, for instance—Viacom will likely need to find a merger partner sooner rather than later. But efforts such as creating content for online streaming services can help buy it time, said Bernard Gershon, president of media and technology consultancy Gershon Media.

“Does Viacom have scale to survive long-term? No,” Mr. Gershon said. “But this is a step in the right direction.”

--Ends--

Also, from The Hollywood Reporter:

'Daria' Among Slate of Reboots Being Shopped as MTV Launches Studio

Network president Chris McCarthy wants to mine the youth-focused cable network's vault to revive old hits — including 'The Real World' and 'Made' — for other networks and streamers.
In an effort to monetize 35 years of content, MTV is launching MTV Studios, with the goal of rebooting old hits — including Daria and The Real World — to sell to other networks and streamers. The effort is part of a larger push by Viacom brands including MTV and Nickelodeon (with more to come) to expand into a fully fledged studio.

MTV Studios is launching with an initial slate that includes reboots of Daria and unscripted entry Made joining previously announced Aeon Flux and The Real World as well as two original docuseries. Viacom's Nickelodeon has already sold its first off-network series, landing animated kids show Pinky Malinky at Netflix.

All four projects are being produced via MTV Studios and will be shopped to outside linear networks and SVOD platforms. In success, MTV Studios will produce a slate for outlets beyond Viacom with a focus on beloved series, franchises and spinoffs. The third-party content push has been underway in the U.S. and abroad for months, with Paramount Television landing Jack Ryan at Amazon Studios and other content from the studio landing at Netflix (13 Reasons Why) and USA Network (Shooter).

With more than 200 titles created during its 35-year-plus run, MTV Studios hopes to mine the Viacom-owned cable network's library of young adult series and franchises. Network president Chris McCarthy, who called the archives "largest youth library in the history of TV," will also develop originals via MTV Studios. The slate also includes new docuseries The Valley (in the spirit of hits The Hills and Siesta Key) and MTV's Straight Up Ghosted (which reconnects lost friends who have been, you guessed it, ghosted).

Launching the studio will help MTV monetize its library while not requiring the cable network to be home to offerings that may be outside the linear network's wheelhouse. The executive, who recently rebooted Jersey Shore and TRL, told The Hollywood Reporter that a show like The Real World wouldn't be a fit on MTV today. But reviving the series for a streaming platform would help keep the spirit of the original unscripted hit alive for a new generation. Instead, McCarthy said MTV will continue to focus on "loud" docuseries while also using scripted as tentpoles, a la its retooled reboot of Scream.

Launching MTV Studios arrives at a time in which ownership is becoming increasingly important to broadcast, cable and streaming services, which typically want to own their own content. While launching a studio is typically indicative of creating and owning content for your own platforms, MTV Studios will face similar hurdles to landing shows on outside networks. Fellow indie studios like Warner Bros. TV and Sony TV have faced mounting obstacles on the broadcast side as the Big Four all look to buy from their own internal studio counterparts.

The move comes Viacom CEO Bob Bakish is looking to revitalize the media behemoth and as McCarthy wants to transcend MTV from a platform to a larger brand with business outside of the company.

On the programming front, the new Daria is called Daria & Jodie and hails from writer Grace Edwards (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Inside Amy Shumer). The animated series is told through the eyes of Daria Morgendorrfer and one of her closest friends Jodie Landon and follows both as they take on the world, with their signature satirical voice while deconstructing popular culture, social classes, gender and race.The original Daria, a spinoff from Mike Judge's Beavis and Butt-Head, ran for five seasons on MTV from 1997-2002. Made, meanwhile, is a teen makeover show that ran from 2003-2014.Original docuseries The Valley follows a group of 20-somethings living in Nogales, Arizona, and tells the real-life story of friends on the edge of two countries and two cities as they share one valley, their youth and a common bond. Straight Up Ghosted explores stories of real people who vanished by blocking them and the uncomfortable truth about why they were ghosted.

Those join previously announced The Real World, from original producers Bunim/Murray Productions, and animated entry Aeon Flux, from Teen Wolf's Jeff Davis.

Below, McCarthy opens up about his plans for MTV Studios and other properties from the cabler's archives he hopes to mine (paging the Great Cornholio).

What's the goal with launching MTV Studios? How much of that is about mining your library for reboots vs. creating new programming that's owned in-house?

It's about expanding beyond the platforms that we own. When you think about young people and moving the brand to a space where it's less about a platform and more about us getting back to a youth culture brand, which has been the majority of our history. It's going back out and redeveloping, whether it's new hits or reimagined or remakes of classics but doing them on the platforms that are appropriate. In some cases, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation is totally appropriate to do it on traditional cable. But if we were to do Daria and Jodie, which is a reimagination of the classic Daria animated series, for us, the best place for it isn't necessarily cable but more with an SVOD partner where we can have better storytelling and allow more flexibility and be able to go deeper than traditional cable may allow.

When you say you're developing new and reimagined iconic series for franchises for SVOD and linear partners, what does that mean? Are you talking about MTV and Viacom launching an SVOD platform for originals or are you talking about selling this to a third party, like Amazon, Apple, Hulu or Netflix.

The latter. We want to create great stories and let this IP live on. We have one of the largest youth libraries. In the first 30 years [of MTV] nobody was making cable content, so we had to make it ourselves. We're in the luxurious position of having owned most of our IP. So much of our history has been about looking forward and not looking back. But the world has changed and so much growth is happening for everybody, from Marvel and ABC to NBC, through reimaginations of amazing IP. We stopped and thought that we were leaving something behind that is way more valuable than we realized. Once we started talking to people, they got really excited about how important these characters and franchises were to them. Daria was a good example. We brought on Grace Edwards as the writer and she is a huge fan of Daria. The story she wants to tell of Daria is different, it's about Daria and Jodie and two close friends taking on the world today and what's happening in our culture at large. It's less about the monetization and more about telling great stories. Of course, we're going to make money but it's about taking this IP and bring it into the future and doing these shows on platforms where audiences make the most sense.

Do you have a home for the Daria reboot yet? Is that something you could do on MTV.com? It's hard to imagine MTV content like Daria or The Real World living on a platform that isn't associated with MTV — or Viacom.

This is the first time we're announcing Daria. We have talked to a bunch of people, informally, in advance of it and there's a ton of interest. It's hard to think about today, but when you think about MTV Films, it was about taking those great stories and characters and bringing them to the big screen on platforms we didn't own. It's only the past couple years where we've been solely focused on cable. [Viacom CEO] Bob Bakish's bigger strategy is thinking of these businesses not as platforms but as brands that transcend platforms. It's why we're expanding back out to events and the theatrical space. Think about MTV, the channel itself, as a pure channel. We'll have channels all over the globe, as we do today. But the content we're going to do on the classic and traditional cable or mobile model is different from the content we now create for studios or theatrical or through our events and experience. It's the next step in our evolution. We spent the majority of our time focused on the platforms we own because without having a healthy heart, we couldn't go out there and begin to expand. But today, thankfully, we're up double- and triple-digits across every platform we own and we can take that next bold step.

Netflix has been known to have a halo effect on programming — Riverdale season two spiked after viewers binged season one on the platform, for example. Many viewers at the time thought it was a Netflix original. Do you hope a Real World on Netflix, for example, would create some brand awareness for MTV and brings viewers to the linear network? Is that the hope?

The hope is to take IP and tell best story on the best platform. It's not to get one audience from one platform to another. In cable, our goal is to get people who watch cable to watch more of us. On our digital and mobile platforms, it's to get people on those platforms to spend more time with us. With SVOD partners, be it Netflix, Hulu, Apple or Amazon, we've only sold library content. Now, it's taking a bold step forward and saying the library is nice but the power of this is telling fresh, unique stories for today's generation with original premieres on those platforms. It's not the encore. That worked for the past 10 years but today, that requires it to work solely on cable before it goes there and that's not where the audience is.

In success with a show like Daria, if you're selling the new version of it to say, Netflix, does that include the library along with the new series? Or are you maintaining the library and Netflix would get the new series?

We're open to anything. We want to make sure the deals work for everybody and we're open for business in creating different creative partnerships that work best for the partner and the IP and the audience. I don't know that there's going to be a cookie-cutter model; it's really about what works best and how do we engage these partners in a fresh and different way that isn't competitive to the platforms we own? Thankfully the audience has already made the decision — some people have just cable, some have cable and SVOD and some only have SVOD. And they have them for different reasons, and that's great because we can reach them on all.

You've mentioned The Real World, Aeon Flux and now Daria. What other franchises are you looking to revive? Beavis and Butt-head? The Osbournes? Celebrity Death Match?

Other people are excited about what a new Laguna Beach would look like. We're not ready to announce that but we're certainly not against that. When you think about what makes sense for our own platforms, we'll focus more on the 20 to mid-30s, louder docuseries on cable. But what that opens up for us is everything that's pure music, longform, animation, scripted and more of our younger unscripted, whether that be formats or docuseries. That opens up our entire library to do that with new partners. A lot of the franchises you mentioned are ones that there's some interest in that we're actively thinking about. What's important is to not do it through the sale but to do it through the creative. What made Daria pop for us is because we love the franchise and Grace Edwards has a point of view and angle she wants to tell. Jeff Davis had Aeon Flux — he came in and had a really strong point of view and a creative angle into it that made it rise to the top in a very different way than what our own taste may be.

Would Aeon Flux air on MTV?

I don't think so. That will be a scripted series we'll take out and find the right partner to do it with. As a general rule, we're going to continue to be doing what works today on cable, which is the louder, more adult docuseries that are working in unscripted that are working so well for us. That's where the cable audience is, they're looking for news, sports, louder docuseries and competitions and that's what we're going to be focusing on for our demo. But it allows us to do scripted content but not force it to only be in what's going to work for cable.

Is MTV, as a linear network, no longer doing scripted?

Not as a whole. Scream is an event, so that's different. You're not going to see us as a general rule of thumb doing a half-hour or hour a week of scripted. When we do it, we want to make it an event so it's meaningful and breaks through culture. In the same way, like when we launched Daria in an SVOD partner, we're going to want to use all our platforms to drive to that and make that successful. We're not looking at it as a competitor platform; we're looking at it as our product, our story and our IP and we want to make it successful no matter where it is. And the same is true for when we had films and launched those, whether it was Napoleon Dynamite or Election. We put all our powers to driving audience and awareness.

You mentioned Napoleon Dynamite and Election. Will MTV Studios be focused purely on TV or is film a possibility as well?

MTV Studios will be focused on the TV side. We have amazing IP that spans both TV and film. Paramount Players looks at the film side and we have a great partnership with them. But we're not judging the IP based on platform.

So you could turn Election into a TV series?

We haven't gotten that far. Right now, we're focused on traditional TV content. We have over 200 titles, which is the largest youth library in the history of TV. Reboots are happening in such a massive way that this allows us to look at that IP in different ways. The Real World is another great example. When we came back to MTV 18 months ago, Jon [co-creator/exec producer Jonathan Murray] and Gil [Goldschein, exec producer] wanted to talk with us about how to remake that. The Real World is at its best when it's telling unfiltered stories. It was ground-breaking at the time. In order for that to work on traditional cable today, it's going to look a lot more like The Challenge and I'm not necessarily sure that's the ethos of that show. Jon and Gil and Nina [Diaz, head of unscripted] were all on the same page. But that doesn't mean that we couldn't re-create that with modern storytelling and modern characters of today and be pure to the stories that it was originally meant to be. But that's not going to be on traditional cable today; it's going to be on a new platform.

How close are you to setting up your first shows?

Hopefully after this article, a lot closer!

Which outlets have expressed interest in content like Aeon Flux, Real World and Daria?

This is our first formal step but we've been having informal conversations, none that we can share. In the beginning, 60 percent of this will land in the more reimaginations of the best IP that we have. But we're also going to be doing new IP. Depending on whether that is music, scripted or unscripted will determine what platform is best for that. We'll be announcing two new series that could land on our own platform or if we focus on the younger demo, could be for another platform. That's what is getting us excited as storytellers and creators: we're able to expand our creative spectrum in order to tell the stories on the right platforms.

--Ends--

Also, from World Screen.

Viacom Unveils Studio Model

Viacom has revealed plans to license and produce for third parties new episodes of content from across its portfolio of brands, beginning with the launch of MTV Studios.

MTV Studios will develop new series and reboot iconic brands for third-party SVOD and linear outlets, tapping into its library of more than 200 titles. The initial slate includes Daria & Jodie, a reimagination of Daria with writer Grace Edwards; a live-action Aeon Flux from Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis; a revived The Real World with Bunim/Murray Productions; and a brand-new take on the life-makeover series Made. MTV Studios is also working on new titles: The Valley, a coming-of-age docuseries which it says is in the spirit of The Hills, and MTV’s Straight Up Ghosted, following young people trying to reconnect with lost friends, lovers and family members.

Similar efforts will follow at other Viacom networks. “Viacom is uniquely positioned to do this,” the company said in a blog post. “The company’s voluminous original content libraries house an enormous number of beloved properties that speak deeply to their fans. Its archives stretch back decades—and, in the case of Paramount Pictures, more than a century. Its properties resonate deeply with high-value audiences: kids (Nickelodeon), African-Americans (BET), youth (MTV), the LGBTQ community (Logo), and more. Viacom’s global footprint means that those audiences stretch across cultures and borders. As the first port-of-call for creatives pitching shows tailor-made for these audiences, Viacom’s brands are keenly aware of what is in the market. Its production expertise is second to none. The possibilities for third-party licensing and production are practically limitless.”

That work has begun at Paramount, with the Jack Ryan series from Paramount Television premiering on Amazon this August. And earlier this year, Viacom International Studios (VIS) combined Telefe’s production capabilities with Viacom’s Brazilian comedy brand Porta dos Fundos and its Miami operations to develop original content for platforms around the world.

“These licensing deals will therefore sprinkle tastes of Nickelodeon and MTV and Telefe and other Viacom properties throughout the global content ecosystem, while segmenting the full brand experience for consumers who subscribe to a Viacom linear or digital distributor.”

“Building on the success of Paramount Television and Telefe’s quickly growing production business, we’re going to much more aggressively tap into the huge demand for content and unlock more of our IP and production and creative capabilities to drive incremental revenues from third-party platforms,” Bob Bakish, president and CEO, said on Viacom’s Q2 earnings call in April. “This isn’t just an idea. … there is a lot of interest from SVOD partners in licensing library properties from MTV and Nickelodeon IP for brand-new interpretations. At the same time, we’re also developing new IP for the sector and have already closed deals for brand-new original Nick IP and animation with third parties and we see more in the pipeline.”

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Also, from VideoInk:

MTV Wants to Sell Reboots of its Old Content to SVOD Services like Netflix

MTV launches new studio dedicated to reviving its old content to sell to linear networks and streamers

Viacom’s MTV has launched a new studio in hopes of extending the life of the more than 30 years of content broadcasted on the network, including hits like “Daria” and “The Real World.” The creation of the studio is part of a larger push by Viacom brands including MTV and Nickelodeon to expand into fully fledged studios. Nickelodeon has already sold its first off-network kids show “Pinky Malinky” to Netflix, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

At launch, MTV’s Studio’s slate of content includes reboots of “Daria,” “Made,” “Aeon Flux,” and “The Real World.” All four projects are being produced through MTV Studios and will be shopped to outside linear networks and SVOD platforms, according to reports.

The Studio is already pitching its content to streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and Apple.

MTV’s president Chris McCarthy said that while the MTV Cable network is “Thriving,” it’s “a little bit more limiting than it used to be,” he explained that “the stories that [it tells] on traditional cable [will be] be very different than the stories [MTV] would tell in SVOD.”

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Also, from CBS News:

MTV announces "Daria" reboot called "Daria & Jodie"

Daria Morgendorffer finally has a reason to smile: Everyone's favorite misanthropic teenager is coming back to the small screen. MTV announced a reboot of its cult classic, "Daria," which will be part of the lineup for its new production unit, MTV Studios.

The reboot of "Daria" will be called "Daria & Jodie," and follow Daria and her friend, Jodie Landon. Jodie is Daria's intellectual equal, but unlike Daria, she's popular and well-liked in school. In a press release, MTV said "Daria & Jodie" will "reinvent" the iconic original show, which aired from 1997 to 2002. Viewers will watch "these two smart young women take on the world, with their signature satirical voice while deconstructing popular culture, social classes, gender and race."

Grace Edwards will write "Daria & Jodie." She previously wrote for "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and "Inside Amy Schumer."

MTV Studios announced that it will also revive "The Real World" and "Made." It is also working on two new reality shows, including "The Valley," which will follow young friends in Nogales, Arizona, and "MTV's Straight Up Ghosted," which will follow young people who try to confront loved ones who ghosted them.

MTV Studios will also reimagine "Aeon Flux" in a live-action remake by executive producers Jeff Davis of "Teen Wolf" and Gale Ann Hurd of "The Walking Dead."

Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, said in a statement that MTV Studios hopes to reimagine shows from its archives.

"MTV has the biggest collection of hit youth franchises that spans more than three decades of content and over 200 titles, part of which have fueled our resurgence," he said. "With MTV Studios, we are for the first time ever opening up this vault beyond our own platforms to reimagine the franchises with new partners."

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Also, from FierceCable:

Viacom will begin making TV shows for Netflix

Early on in Netflix’s journey toward dominating the SVOD market, Viacom shows were a big draw for its service. Now Viacom is jumping back into business with Netflix.

According to The Information, Viacom will begin making shows directly for Netflix as part of a new deal. While plenty of other television studios like CBS and Warner Bros. make shows for Netflix, Viacom is taking it a step further by making network-branded shows. First up will be a Nickelodeon-branded show for Netflix.

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish told the publication that his company hopes to make shows based on other networks including BET, Comedy Central and MTV for many of the top SVODs and mobile carriers. He said that Viacom today launched MTV Studios to work on reviving old shows like “The Real World” for streaming services.

Viacom’s new Netflix deal is curious considering the apparent impact on ratings the company experienced after signing early deals with Netflix for many of its popular children’s programs.

The deal is also interesting given Viacom’s plans to launch its own direct-to-consumer streaming service later this year. Viacom’s service will house thousands of hours of content from the company’s content library, something Viacom said it’s able to do since it’s stopped licensing its content to SVODs like Netflix.

“It’s important to note that one of the reasons we’re able to do this is because we’ve chosen to curtail the amount of content that we license into third-party D2C experiences. That’s a decision that we made when [Bakish] rolled out his strategic plan last year. And although that’s had some short-term pain for us … it’s really important that we’ve built that library to be able to use for our own strategic purposes and fuel offerings like this,” Viacom CFO Wade Davis said during an earnings call in February.

In the meantime, Viacom has once found itself on the outside looking in for a skinny bundle streaming service; this time (at least initially) it’s AT&T Watch.

AT&T today confirmed the channel lineup for its $15 per month streaming service, which will be available for free with AT&T’s new unlimited wireless plans. Among the 31 channels available in the bundle are A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, Cartoon Network, CNN, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, History, IFC, Lifetime, OWN, TBS, TCM, TLC, TNT, TruTV and Viceland.

Absent are any of Viacom’s networks, although AT&T is promising BET, Comedy Central, MTV2, Nicktoons, Teen Nick and VH1 will be added soon after launch. Surprisingly, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount Network (four out of Viacom’s six flagship networks) don’t currently show up on the channel list for Watch.

Viacom did not immediately respond to a request for comment on those networks’ absence.

Philo, a comparable $16 per month streaming bundle with no sports, features all of Viacom’s six core networks and adds MTV2, Teen Nick and VH1 to its introductory bundle.

Viacom’s channels are present in major virtual MVPDs like DirecTV Now and Sling TV but are not included with more recent options like Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV.

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More Nick: Episode 48: Chris Garbutt & Rikke Asbjoern | Nickelodeon Animation Podcast!

Originally published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 5:51pm BST.

H/T: MarketWatch, @Joheruchan.
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