Verizon keeps stuffing more video into the pipeline for Go90, striking a pact with studio New Form Digital to develop and produce six scripted series for the soon-to-launch mobile entertainment service.
The six original series will premiere on Go90 over the next year with 12-episode orders for each of the series. The first, to debut in October, will be supernatural drama “The Fourth Door” from Tony E. Valenzuela (pictured above), founder of YouTube horror and sci-fi channel BlackBoxTV and exec producer of “Fight of the Living Dead.”
Verizon Wireless has invited about 5 million customers to test out Go90, and with a lineup aimed at millennial audiences. The company plans to launch the service this month with a mix of live programming, primetime TV shows, web series and original content. The service is based on technology developed by Intel’s OnCue over-the-top TV division, which the telco bought last year, but G090 is a free, ad-supported offering rather than an OTT alternative to pay TV.
New Form Digital was formed last year by backers including Discovery, CAA, and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg. Among the studio’s pacts to date is a four-series exclusive distribution deal with Vimeo, including “Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures” produced with Jim Henson Co.
Other content partners for Go90 include Viacom, AwesomenessTV, Discovery Communications, ESPN, Scripps Networks Interactive, Vice Media and Endemol Beyond USA’s Icon Network, which plans to launch three original lifestyle programs on the service.
New Form Digital announced five of the series for Go90, with the sixth yet to be announced. They are:
- “The Fourth Door”: Fantasy adventure about a woman who wakes up in the embattled way station between this life and the next. There she encounters mysterious and dangerous creatures that force her to face the past, present and future to save the man she loves. Created and directed by Tony E. Valenzuela.
- “#DoOver” (working title): “Groundhog Day”-style comedy in which a young woman gets more than she wished for when she’s stuck repeating her epic 25th birthday bash — which goes up in flames over and over. Created and written by Kathleen Grace, New Form Digital’s chief creative officer, and Shawn Dempewolff-Barrett.
- “Miss Earth” (working title): Intergalactic sci-fi comedy about Victoria Young, a pageant queen on Earth who takes the place of her battle-tested twin sister in a competition with all of humanity at stake. Created by and starring Anna Akana.
- “Mr. Student Body President” (working title): Dark political comedy about a charming teenage dictator, billed as “Ferris Bueller meets Frank Underwood.” Created and directed by Ryan Hunter and Jack Ferry.
- “Cold” (working title): Crime drama about a teenage girl who seeks her birth parents only to find that her separation from them was the result of a major tragedy. In her efforts to uncover what really happened, she explores the quaint-seeming town where she would have grown up which holds many secrets. Created and directed by Emily Diana Ruth.
In addition, New Form Digital will provide exclusive related content including behind-the-scenes footage for Go90.
“Go90 is an ambitious platform that will be attracting that millennial audience that we bring to productions,” said JC Cangilla, New Form Digital’s senior VP of business development. “We’re incredibly excited about this Verizon investment in our series and creators.”
Verizon intends to make money by selling targeted ads on Go90 Another way Verizon expects to drive up wireless-data usage with Go90 is that it’s a “social entertainment platform,” according to the company. The service will let users discover shows by following others with similar tastes, and will let them clip and share segments of a show.