The yet-unnamed service, which will be a standalone brand and business wholly owned by AwesomenessTV, will feature premium short-form mobile content the companies have promised will be on par with premium TV programming — a sort of HBO for millennials. Falvey will oversee all content and creative, including programming, development and production.
Verizon and AwesomenessTV announced plans for the premium service this spring, along with Verizon’s $159 million deal to acquire a 24.5% stake in AwesomenessTV. The youth-focused digital media company is majority owned by DreamWorks Animation (which is in the process of being acquired by Comcast), with Hearst owning a 24.5% stake.
Most recently, Falvey was ABC Entertainment’s executive VP of comedy development and international scripted development, overseeing the development and production of all comedy pilots, as well as international talent and format development. At ABC, she oversaw the development of shows including “black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Modern Family,” “The Goldbergs” and “The Middle.”
Falvey’s departure from ABC comes after the network appointed Channing Dungey, previously head of drama at ABC Entertainment, as president of entertainment in February.
“Samie has a tremendous track record of successful collaborations with some of the most accomplished creators in the business and a great knack for developing content that resonates,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, in a statement. “Her eye for great storytelling coupled with terrific talent relationships will be invaluable in creating next-generation premium programming for audiences to devour in the ways they are actually watching today — in bite-sized chunks across every device there is.”
Falvey, for her part, commented, “I’ve long admired Jeffrey, Brian (Robbins, CEO of AwesomenessTV) and Brett’s (Bouttier, president of ATV) commitment to innovation, and I could not be more excited to work with them in building their next business. I am eager to bring audiences a new and contemporary form of content and to provide the best creative talent with a wholly original outlet.”
Verizon and AwesomenessTV execs have previously said the premium content will be available on the Go90 mobile-centric video service for a monthly subscription fee, while individual episodes and full series will be available to purchase a la carte.
At ABC, Falvey also led content development and relaunch of the Watch ABC app in collaboration with the network’s digital team, and oversaw development and production of all scripted short-form content for the platform working with companies including Warner Bros.’s Blue Ribbon Content and Maker Studios. Falvey joined ABC Entertainment in June 2006 as senior VP of comedy development.
Prior to ABC, Falvey was VP of comedy development at Fox, where she developed “Kitchen Confidential” with Bradley Cooper and Seth MacFarlane’s “American Dad.” She began her career at Fox in 1999 as manager of current programming.
Separately, Verizon last month hired Ivana Kirkbride, a former YouTube executive who most recently worked at video startup Vessel, as chief content officer for Go90.