Jennifer Lopez, Scooter Braun Producing Shows for Quibi Shortform Service

The streaming platform is also partnering with Telemundo on a series, co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg announced at SXSW.
Tony Barson/FilmMagic; John Sciulli/Getty Images for Spotify
Jennifer Lopez (left), Scooter Braun

Shortform video streamer Quibi is adding more projects to its prelaunch roster.

During a session at South by Southwest in Austin on  Friday, chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg said shows from Jennifer Lopez, Scooter Braun and Spanish-language broadcast Telemundo are in development for the service. He also announced Frat Boy Genius, a Social Network-esque look at the rise of Snapchat based on a 2018 Black List script.

Lopez's show will be called Thanks a Million. Lopez and nine others will each choose an influential person from their early lives and award them $100,000 each — with the understanding that that person will then pass on $50,000 to someone similar in their own lives. The second recipient will then give $25,000 to someone else, and so on. The series was created and will be produced by B17 Entertainment, led by Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher.

Katzenberg also discussed plans to have two short daily newscasts, a sports highlights show and a show with highlights from the previous day's late-night shows on the service. Quibi is slated to launch in April 2020, he said, a few months later than the initially planned late 2019 debut. 

The platform aims to provide subscribers high-quality shows delivered to their phones in short "chapters," usually about 10 minutes long. CEO Meg Whitman said at SXSW that users of Netflix, Hulu and other streamers watch on phones only about 10 percent of the time, and that Quibi's series will be tailored to mobile users (including being able to watch full-screen video in either portrait or landscape mode), with shows filmed specifically for the format.

The goal, Katzenberg and Whitman said, is not to compete directly with Netflix and other streamers serving traditional-length TV series but specifically target mobile users who can consume content in short chunks during the day.

"I don't think we're going to steal minutes from anyone else," said Whitman, the former eBay and HP CEO. "I think we'll add to [the content people consume] and help lift all boats" when it comes to mobile viewing.

Lopez's show will be called Thanks a Million. Lopez and nine others will each choose an influential person from their early lives and award them $100,000 each — with the understanding that that person will then pass on $50,000 to someone similar in their own lives. The second recipient will then give $25,000 to someone else, and so on.

Braun will produce and serve as a judge for a music competition series. Katzenberg didn't offer many details but said the show would be "unique and differentiated" from other shows in the space.

Telemundo is partnering with Quibi for a prequel to its top-rated series El Senor de Los Cielos. The three-hour series will tell the origin story of the drug lord at its center and air in subtitled Spanish.

The new projects join a show about sneaker culture from Lena Waithe called You Ain't Got These; horror anthology 50 States of Fear from Sam Raimi; a "modern zombie story" from Guillermo del Toro; and a "modern Dog Day Afternoon" from Antoine Fuqua in development for Quibi.