At CES, Marissa Mayer had some fun hanging out the cast of Saturday Night Live. Turns out, she wants her own 30 Rock. The Yahoo CEO is aiming big when it comes to original programming. Per multiple sources, the company is talking to various studios and talent agencies in Hollywood in search of a breakthrough series project. Ideally the company would like to develop around three half-hour comedy series that it would present at this year’s NewFronts in New York. While nobody at Yahoo is talking about spending House of Cards, Netflix-type money, Yahoo—under Mayer’s direction—is seeking a buzzy hit that would change the way Yahoo is perceived in the market by consumers and advertisers. One producer estimated that Yahoo may be looking for projects in the range of around $200,000 an episode. But another offered: “Think at least [along the lines of] cable budgets, in the range of $1 to $2 million an episode.”
No industry is changing more quickly than digital video—the world of streaming content has touched every other aspect of entertainment media, whether it's by distributing it more conveniently, adding ads […]
Were the NewFronts worth it? That's the question some in the Web video industry might be asking, even as they prep for next year's week of shows. A few weeks ago, it was revealed that Yahoo hadn't sold advertisers on most of the big shows it presented to agencies and brands last spring, including Jack Black's Ghost Ghirls. And on Wednesday, Hulu's anticipated animated series Mother Up! premiered, also with no sponsor.
The lines between digital and linear distribution are a lot less blurry than advertised when it comes to the business models of cable television and the online space, but content is a different animal altogether.
If you're going to make a scripted web series, it's almost a foregone conclusion that it will be a comedy—sci-fi costs too much, most straight-up dramas have too many locations for the quick turnaround required, and a funny script can overcome most technical handicaps.