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Warner Bros. Unveils Digital Short-Form Studio: Blue Ribbon Content

Warner Bros. announced Blue Ribbon Content as the name of its newly created short-form digital division, which will develop and produce live-action and animated series for digital platforms, and revealed a slate of content under the banner including spinoffs from the DC Comics franchise.

Blue Ribbon Content is headed by Sam Register, who assumed oversight of digital development and production of the studio’s efforts after being named president of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series in April. His team at Blue Ribbon Content includes Andrew Mellett, SVP, distribution and strategy, who manages the new division’s financial operations, oversees business affairs, and handles all distribution and sponsorship deals.

Blue Ribbon Content’s first development slate comprises several original program concepts as well as new shows from Warner Bros. Entertainment’s collection of intellectual property.

Those include shows from or supervised by creative talents including Akiva Goldsman (“Paranormal Activity”), Reginald Hudlin (“Django Unchained,” the “House Party” movies), Bruce Timm (“Batman: The Animated Series”) and Rob Thomas (“Veronica Mars”); a new “Mortal Kombat” series; multiple projects featuring DC Comics characters, including a live-action version of Static Shock (pictured, above); and a virtual-reality experience based on “Batman: The Animated Series.”

The Blue Ribbon Content slate includes:

  • “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles” (Machinima) — Animated short-form series from Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett (producers of “Batman: The Animated Series”), which takes place in a DC universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the superheroes most people know. Set to debut on Machinima in 2015, series is based on “Justice League: Gods & Monsters,” an original animated film executive produced by Timm and co-produced by Burnett that will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment later in 2015.
  • An untitled “Mortal Kombat” series — The next generation in the Mortal Kombat franchise to be released in association with the upcoming “Mortal Kombat X” videogame, slated to bow April 14, 2015. Blue Ribbon Content and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are teaming on the series, which will showcase some of the franchise’s popular characters and introduce a new generation of fighters.
  • “Play It Again, Dick” (CW Seed) — Co-written and executive produced by “Veronica Mars” creator-executive producer Rob Thomas for CW Seed, the digital studio of The CW Television Network. “Play It Again, Dick,” Blue Ribbon Content’s first original production, stars Ryan Hansen as himself as he begs and pleads with his former “Veronica Mars” castmates (some of whom make guest appearances) and friends to help him get his character, Dick Casablancas, his own spinoff show.
  • “RejecTED” — Original satirical comedy from Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf and Hugh Davidson (each of “Mike Tyson Mysteries”) that covers fictional technology, entertainment and design presentations that never made it to the TED stage.
  • “Ginger Snaps” — Comedy series from writer Sonali Patel (NBC’s “A to Z”) following a troop of young girls as they backstab, manipulate and sabotage their way through the seedy underworld of the Ginger Snaps. The series emerged from the Warner Bros. Television Workshop’s Fresh Ink initiative, aimed at developing projects from women and minorities.
  • “Golden Revenge” — Series about a pair of house pets — a cat and dog — that look to strike back at their owners who tried to abandon them. From Tom Stern and Josh Gardner (“Saul of the Mole Men,” “Gerhard Reinke’s Wanderlust”), produced by Conan O’Brien’s Conaco.
  • “Ouroboros” — Original horror-thriller from WB’s Weed Road Pictures producer Akiva Goldsman (exec producer of the “Paranormal Activity” franchise) and writer-director-producer Damon Santostefano. Series follows two police officers over the course of one night in a remote part of Wisconsin as they are overwhelmed by a series of mysterious attacks and an epidemic of possession.
  • “Static Shock” — Live-action series from Reginald Hudlin (producer of “Django Unchained,” writer-director of “House Party,” and exec producer-director of TV series “The Bernie Mac Show”) features African-American super hero Static, a.k.a. Virgil Ovid Hawkins. “Static Shock” is based on the “Static” comic co-created by the late Dwayne McDuffie with co-writer Robert L. Washington III and artist John Paul Leon, originally published by DC Comics imprint Milestone Comics. Milestone Media co-founder and comic book artist-TV producer Denys Cowan (who was behind the original “Static Shock” animated series) is collaborating with Hudlin on the new series.
  • “Critters” — Series based on the New Line Cinema cult classic movie franchise, with a new batch of alien pests descending on the planet. Written by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath (“Teen Titans Go!”).
  • “Batman: The Animated Series Experience” — As previously announced, Blue Ribbon, DC Entertainment and Otoy are jointly creating an immersive virtual-reality entertainment experience in which the Batcave brought to life via interactive holographic video for virtual-reality displays. Otoy is collaborating with series producer Bruce Timm on the interactive narrative experience, which will be available on devices including the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR and the Oculus Rift.

 

Warner Bros. said additional Blue Ribbon Content development projects will be announced in the coming months.

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