Yahoo Picks Up Paul Feig, Mike Tollin Comedies
Yahoo is giving Hollywood a glimpse of its original programming ambitions with two comedy pickups.
The Sunnyvale tech giant announced Tuesday at its Digital NewFronts presentation in New York that it has ordered eight half-hour episodes of Other Space from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig. The series follows a ragtag group of space explorers who find an alternate universe.
Yahoo also has ordered eight half-hour episodes of Sin City Saints from Smallville and One Tree Hill exec producer Mike Tollin. The series, directed by Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm), tells the story of a Las Vegas professional basketball team.
Both series will stream on video platform Yahoo Screen as part of Yahoo's comedy lineup, which includes past episodes of Saturday Night Live.
The two comedy pickups represent Yahoo's first effort to get into the higher budget original programming game alongside competitors such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Xbox. The company first attempted original programming in 2012 with reality show Failure Club and Tom Hanks' animated series Electric City. It also has aired short-form web series such as Burning Love.
Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt wrote in a blog post that the comedy pickups are the first of several for the tech company.
"We're thrilled to kick off our long-form programming with critically acclaimed creators Paul Feig, Mike Tollin and Bryan Gordon, and we will continue to work with entertainment's top creators to bring you fresh, innovative and original shows you can watch anytime, anywhere," she wrote.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has put a focus on online video since she joined the firm in July 2012. She has made several high-profile deals to grow Yahoo's online video presence, including adding Katie Couric as the site's global anchor.