Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s $2 billion short-form mobile content streaming experiment Quibi will be closing out after running for a little over six months. According to Deadline, the principals were set to have a call with investors Wednesday afternoon to explain the decision and the options they are exploring — which include selling off content or possibly the entire service — as well as a staff meeting.
Launched in April with backing from major media companies and blue-chip investors, Quibi currently employs about 200 people. The shutdown is expected to take several months.
Industry watchers point to a variety of factors in Quibi’s floundering, from the impact of COVID-19 to the growth in streaming competitors. The neonate company has also raised eyebrows with its executive turnover and patent infringement filings crossfire between Quibi and interactive video company Eko.
Despite this, Quibi was on-trend as far as announcing a flurry of new adult animation projects as the pandemic continued to keep audiences at home and live-action production risky. Set to join celeb slice-of-life comedy The Andy Cohen Diaries and zodiac-inspired office sitcom Your Daily Horoscope, which launched in July, were a number of interesting pitches that could wind up at another platform. Such as:
- Doomlands (Blue Ant Media’s Look Mom! Prod.), an “Ozploitation” spoof set in a mobile subterranean pub from Josh O’Keefe (Gary and His Demons). (Read more.)
- Filthy Animals (Stoopid Buddy Stoodios), a 2D sci-fi comedy about a suburban middle schooler (Rashida Jones) who befriends a renegade cat, from Nikolai & Simon Haas and Johnny Smith. (Read more.)
- Futha Mucka (Anonymous Content / Maximum Effort / Titmouse, Inc.), in which actual Ryan Reynolds becomes primary caregiver for his idol, actual Samuel L. Jackson; created by Jim & Brian Kehoe. (Read more.)
- Gloop World (Stoopid Buddy Stoodios), an absurd claymation series from Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty) about the lives of two roommate blobs. (Read more.)
- Micro Mayhem (Stoopid Buddy Stoodios / eOne), a series of over-the-top stop-motion shorts where the cars are the characters, created by Eric Towner (Robot Chicken). Read more.)
- Trill League (Lionsgate TV / G-Unit Film & TV / 3 Arts), anadaptation of exec producer Anthony Piper’s black superhero graphic novel, with Curtis Jackson, Jameel Saleem (Disenchantment) and Jermaine Johnson also attached as EPs. (Read more.)