You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Blackpills Lands on Facebook’s Watch Platform to Promo Original Series ‘Junior,’ ‘Playground’

Blackpills, a French startup focused on edgy original series created for mobile viewing, is trying to boost its exposure to U.S. audiences by sampling two of its original shows on Facebook’s Watch platform.

The two series are coming-of-age drama “Junior” from Zoe Cassavetes and teen-assassin thriller “Playground,” based on an original idea by director Luc Besson.

However, only the first three episodes of “Playground” (pictured above) will be available on Facebook’s Watch. The full 10-episode season is available on Blackpills’ free, ad-supported app for iOS and Android, which launched in May.

Season one of “Junior,” which also runs 10 episodes, will be available on Facebook’s Watch through Jan. 3 (in addition to the Blackpills app). The first two episodes launched Monday, Nov. 27, with two new episodes to be released weekly on the platform.

Facebook is not funding the Blackpills shows, which are among several hundred longer-form series that it’s brought to the Watch platform. Facebook’s Watch initially launched in the U.S. this summer, with the aim of driving users to watch more video and ultimately selling TV-style advertising against them.

Paris-based Blackpills was formed in 2016 by Deezer cofounder Daniel Marhely and Patrick Holzman, an ex-Canal Plus exec and co-founder of AlloCiné. The company has greenlit more than 50 shows from partners including James Franco, Bryan Singer, Logan Paul, Christian Delgrosso, Eric Johnson, Denise Richards and Anonymous Content — with the goal of releasing a new series weekly on its app, which is available in over 30 countries.

Select Blackpills series are also available via its global distribution partnership with Vice Media, which handles ad sales on behalf of the startup.

“Junior,” created, written and directed by Zoe Cassavetes, is produced by Blackpills and Manny Films. It centers on 16-year-old Logan, who moves to L.A. after her parents’ ugly divorce. When her mom brings home a new man, it awakens something in her — pushing her deeper into a secret life and tempting her to embrace her dark side. The series stars Lucia Ribisi (“Bark,” “Small Fry”), Eric Johnson (“Fifty Shades Darker”), Amy Seimetz (“Stranger Things”), Benjamin Hjelm (“Jane the Virgin,” “The Mick”), Kristine Froseth (“Let the Right One In”), Samantha Logan (“13 Reasons Why”), and Libby Mintz (“Day Out of Days”).

In “Playground,” a teenage girl joins a school for assassins — called Courtyard — and soon realizes there may be a connection between the organization and her parents’ violent death. Starring Amalia Holm (“Heroes of the Baltic Sea”), Simon Abkarian (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Casino Royale”), and Melina Matthews (“Mama”).

The series is directed by Olivier Schneider (“Fast & Furious 6”) and Pascal Sid (“Behind The Walls”); written by Anne-Lise Deffoux, Thibault Lafargue, Anton Likiernik, and Vincent Clero; and produced by Blackpills and Together Media.

More Digital

  • Bob Bakish Variety Cover Story

    Viacom Has Acquired Pluto TV Streaming Service for $340M

    Viacom has acquired Los Angeles-based video streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million in cash, both companies confirmed Tuesday. “Today marks an important step forward in Viacom’s evolution, as we work to move both our company and the industry forward,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish in a statement. “Pluto TV’s unique and market-leading product, combined [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Netflix Lets iOS Users Share Movies, Shows to Instagram Stories

    Netflix is tapping into Instagram Stories for some word-of-mouth promotion: The streaming video service rolled out a new Instagram integration Tuesday that allows iOS users to share their favorite movies and TV shows via Stories. To do so, users simply select the title of their choice within the Netflix iOS app, and then share it [...]

  • Brian Lockhart - ESPN+

    ESPN Hires NFL Media's Brian Lockhart to Head ESPN+ Original Content

    ESPN recruited Brian Lockhart, who has spent more than a decade at NFL Media, as executive producer of original content for the ESPN+ subscription-streaming service. Lockhart will oversee strategy and development for all ESPN+ original programming initiatives, including new projects as well as existing shows such as “Detail,” “More Than an Athlete,” “The Board Room,” [...]

  • Roma

    Netflix Joins the Motion Picture Association of America

    UPDATED WASHINGTON — Netflix has joined the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that reflects its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, and it collected about $38 million in membership dues in 2017, according to its most recent filing with the IRS. [...]

  • The Expanse

    Amazon Launching 'The Expanse' Seasons 1-3 Worldwide Ahead of Season 4 Premiere

    Amazon has acquired worldwide subscription-streaming rights to the first three seasons of “The Expanse,” the space thriller that originally aired on Syfy, leading up to Prime Video’s debut of season 4 later in 2019. Seasons 1-2 of “The Expanse” are currently available in the U.S. on Prime Video. All three seasons, comprising 36 episodes in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content