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Facebook in talks to produce original TV-quality shows: Report

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-06-2017 Abinaya Vijayaraghavan

Bengaluru: Facebook Inc is in talks with Hollywood studios about producing scripted, TV-quality shows, with an aim of launching original programming by late summer, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Sunday.

The social networking giant has indicated that it was willing to commit to production budgets as high as $3 million per episode, in meetings with Hollywood talent agencies, the media report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Facebook is hoping to target audiences from ages 13-34, with a focus on the 17-30 range. The company has already lined up “Strangers”, a relationship drama, and a game show, “Last State Standing”, the report said.

“We’re focused on episodic shows and helping all our partners understand what works across different verticals and topics,” said Nick Grudin, Facebook’s vice president for media partnerships.

The company is expected to release episodes in a traditional manner, instead of dropping an entire season in one go like Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc, WSJ reported.

The company is also willing to share its viewership data with Hollywood, the report said.

Apple Inc hired co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, in early June, to lead its video-programming efforts.

Apple began its long-awaited move into original television series last week, with a reality show called “Planet of the Apps”, an unscripted show about developers trying to interest celebrity mentors with a 60-second pitch on an escalator.

The company’s future programming plans include an adaptation of comedian James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment from his CBS Corporation show that will begin airing in August.

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