Discovery is one of the founding investors in New York-based Group Nine and has already licensed some Group Nine programming for Discovery Plus.
Under the pact, in addition to new shows in development, Discovery Plus has a first-look option on 30 additional original series from Group Nine. The slate also comprises companion series for Discovery Plus original documentaries including “Introducing, Selma Blair” and “Chasing Ghislaine.”
“These projects continue to build our best-in-class library of real-life entertainment and build on our momentum with younger, digital-first audiences,” Lisa Holme, SVP of content and commercial strategy for Discovery, said in a statement. “Group Nine’s ability to create compelling content and bring a loyal audience make them a perfect collaborative partner for Discovery Plus.”
The Discovery Plus deal was led by L.A.-based Group Nine Studios, headed by president Mickey Meyer. “This huge step in our relationship with Discovery allows us to continue telling bigger and bolder stories with a strategic partner that understands the value of combining great storytelling with the data and insights essential to the development and marketing of a successful show,” Meyer said in a statement.
Group Nine programming that is currently streaming on Discovery Plus includes “The Swim,” a feature-length documentary produced by Seeker; “Action Planet,” a limited series featuring high-profile celebrity activists including Jane Fonda, Matt Damon, Common and Greta Thunberg; and “Action Planet: Meeting the Climate Challenge,” a feature-length special on the climate crisis featuring an interview with Vice President Kamala Harris.
The new Discovery Plus slate from Group Nine includes the following programs, with additional series to be announced:
- “My Pack Life” (The Dodo) – Longform series will follow Lee Asher, who quit his 9-to-5 job in order to travel the country with his 15 rescue dogs loaded into a converted school bus, promoting dog adoption and the beauty of second chances. Now he’s purchased 25 acres of land in Oregon and is determined to build a modern day Noah’s Ark — The Asher House Sanctuary. He wants to provide a safe space for every single type of animal he can, no matter their shape, size, or species. His only rule? That they’re an underdog… just like him.
- “The Messy History of American Foods” (Thrillist) – Longform series will unearth the secret legacies and unsung heroes in our national diet. Did you know that something as seemingly simple as your morning bowl of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes has a deep — and in this case twisted — legacy? From chocolate to burgers, this series will uncover the truth behind some of America’s favorite foods.
- “Seen” (NowThis) – Five new episodes of NowThis’ GLAAD Award-nominated series, focusing on disability inclusion and visibility, will be a companion season to the Discovery Plus documentary “Introducing, Selma Blair.”
- “Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?” (NowThis) – Five new episodes of the existing political biography series will serve as a companion season to Discovery Plus documentary “Chasing Ghislaine.”
- “Food Crimes” (Thrillist) – Podcast will dive deep into “the world’s wildest food crimes.” From a mysterious woman who conned an entire country by selling “magic” cheese, to the story of a Texas cop who took down a BBQ smuggling ring, each half-hour episode will explore the complexities and nuances of the stories with key players as they walk us through locations, evidence and suspects.
- “We Said What?!” (Popsugar) – Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart will host a midform review series on YouTube highlighting Discovery Plus originals and Discovery classics.
Pictured above: Artist Yo-Yo Lin in an episode of NowThis’ “Seen”