×

Turner Taps Wattpad for Fan Fiction, Starting With ‘Tales From the Crypt’ From M. Night Shyamalan

Turner’s TNT and TBS are teaming with Wattpad, an online community for users to share and read original stories, to give Wattpad’s 45 million users the chance to have their works adapted by the networks for TV, digital and mobile platforms.

The first project under the partnership will be for TNT’s “Tales From the Crypt” horror block from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, slated to premiere in 2017. Working together they will also extend their collaboration to sourcing content for both TNT and its sister network TBS. TNT and Wattpad will invite writers to submit story ideas through the official Turner profile on Wattpad related to “Tales From the Crypt.”

In addition, under the pact, TNT and TBS will gain access to Wattpad data and analytics to help identify promising talent and trends across genres.

“Our partnership with Wattpad is a perfect intersection of content and fan engagement, where fans actually have the chance to directly influence and, in some cases even have their material optioned and developed by our networks,” Justin Williams, senior VP of digital ventures for TNT and TBS, said in a prepared statement. The initial collaboration for “Tales From the Crypt” will tap into “Wattpad’s strength in the horror genre,” he added.

The Turner deal comes after Wattpad’s formation this spring of Wattpad Studios, which operates like multichannel network and is aimed at striking deals with entertainment companies to co-produce stories shared on Wattpad for TV, film, print and digital platforms. Wattpad Studios is headed by Aron Levitz, previously the company’s head of business development.

“Through our partnership with Turner, Wattpad’s powerful insights, roster of influential writers, and hyper-engaged community of fans will help define the new scary,” said Levitz.

TBS and TNT’s development teams will review stories submitted via Wattpad with an eye toward discovering ideas for television, digital and/or mobile platforms. The networks will then work with Wattpad to share story ideas and other material with Wattpad users to receive feedback. UTA represented Wattpad on the Turner deal.

In a separate Wattpad-fueled project, YouTube star Grace Helbig launched “Writing with Grace” with the story-sharing service in March as part of AT&T’s HelloLab series. Helbig enlisted her fans to use Wattpad to write a “crowdsourced novella” for the eight-episode weekly web series on her YouTube channel.

Wattpad says more than 2 million writers share something every month on the platform, with over 250 million uploads to date. More than 24 hours of reading material is posted to Wattpad every minute, and active users spend an average of 30 minutes per day on the service.

Toronto-based Wattpad, founded in 2006, has raised $66.8 million in funding to date from investors including August Capital, Golden Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Northleaf Capital Partners, OMERS Ventures, Raine Ventures, Union Square Ventures and W Media Ventures.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • fundo logo

    Google‘s Area 120 Is Testing Fundo, a Crowdfunding Service for Creators (EXCLUSIVE)

    Google’s skunkworks lab Area 120 has been quietly testing an events-centric crowdfunding service for YouTubers, Variety has learned. Called Fundo, the service allows creators to invite their fans to virtual meet & greet sessions and other paid online events. A Google spokesperson confirmed the testing in a statement provided to Variety: “One of the many [...]

  • Telling Lies - Logan Marshall-Green

    Sam Barlow's 'Telling Lies' Government-Surveillance Thriller Game Sets Release Date

    After more than two years in the works, “Telling Lies” — the investigative thriller from acclaimed game creator Sam Barlow — is ready to take the stage. The game, produced with and released by Annapurna Interactive, will be available next Friday, Aug. 23, via Steam and Apple’s Mac and iOS app stores. “Telling Lies” will [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Will Stop Letting Copyright Holders Seize Revenue via Manual Claims on Very Short Music Clips

    YouTube is pushing back against overzealous copyright policing by music companies. Starting in mid-September, the video giant will forbid copyright holders from making manual claims to commandeer revenue generated by YouTube videos that include very short music clips (e.g., five seconds of a song) or “unintentional” music (like music from passing cars). “One concerning trend [...]

  • Chelsea Handler memoir book buy online

    Chelsea Handler Bonds With Alexa in iHeartRadio Smart Speaker Promo

    iHeartRadio has teamed up with Amazon to promote Chelsea Handler’s podcast “Life Will Be The Death Of Me.” Beginning this Thursday, users of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and other devices with Alexa built-in can opt to get their mornings started with Handler cracking jokes and exchanging banter with the smart assistant. Users simply have to [...]

  • David Messinger, Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Hires CAA Veteran David Messinger as CMO

    Activision Blizzard tapped David Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA, as its first corporate-wide chief marketing officer. Messinger, based in Santa Monica, reports to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO. It’s the first time the video-game company has appointed a CMO who will oversee the global marketing operations across all of Activision Blizzard [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content