12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
John Krasinski's 'Some Good News' Sells to ViacomCBS Following Massive Bidding War
John Krasinski's Some Good News is on the move.
Following a massive bidding war, the feel-good web series has been licensed to ViacomCBS in a rich deal.
CBS All Access, which will be rebranded this summer and bolstered with more originals from across the ViacomCBS portfolio, will have the first window for the new episodes before they move to a number of the company's linear networks. While Krasinski will continue to be involved as an executive producer, he will not host the new episodes. A new host will be named at a later date, though Krasinski will have some sort of on-air presence. It's yet to be determined which of the ViacomCBS platforms will have the second window for new SGN episodes and whether the broadcast network will be involved. In addition to the new episodes, other shortform content that will live within the ViacomCBS fold will also be produced.
"Could not be more excited and proud to be partnering with CBS/Viacom to be able to bring Some Good News to so many more people!" Krasinski said Thursday in a statement. "From the first episode, our goal was to create a news show dedicated entirely to good news. Never did I expect to be joining the ranks of such a historic news organization as CBS."
Sources say CBS Entertainment Group president George Cheeks was instrumental in bringing Krasinski and SGN to the company. Cheeks, who previously spent decades at NBCUniversal, took over for Joe Ianniello in late March. This is believed to be one of his first major deals. The series will be produced in-house via Comedy Central Productions as the conglomerate will also have an ownership stake in SGN.
"Comedy Central Productions is excited to partner with John and bring his beloved Some Good News to audiences around the world through ViacomCBS' family of brands," said Chris McCarthy, Entertainment & Youth Group president.
During its run on YouTube, Krasinski self-financed and self-produced the weekly SGN episodes designed to spread, as its title indicates, some good news to audiences who are staying at home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Krasinski initially resisted the urge to sell the series, despite a wave of incoming calls from a wide variety of suitors. Krasinski's team received a flood of inquiries following SGN's viral first episode, with suitors including broadcast networks and streaming services. His original plan was to continue to make SGN for the free and wide audience that YouTube provided. As the series continued to produce weekly viral episodes (financed by the Office grad and Jack Ryan star), corporate sponsors began to board the series with giveaways. AT&T, for example, provided a giveaway for COVID-19 first responders, while the Boston Red Sox supplied tickets to future games. With the ViacomCBS deal, the second window across linear networks will continue Krasinski's vision of seeing SGN episodes reach a wide audience.
Krasinski seemingly concluded SGN on Sunday after producing eight episodes that included reunions of the Office crew and the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. During the episode, Krasinski noted the series would be taking a break and thanked viewers for the inspiration.
In two months, the Some Good News YouTube channel has collected 2.56 million subscribers, with some episodes receiving as many as 17 million views.
Krasinski came up with the idea for what became Some Good New some seven years ago and opted to launch it in late March when he, like millions of others, was staying home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. SGN was created and produced by Krasinski and his Sunday Night production banner partner Allyson Seeger.
Krasinski already has a relationship with ViacomCBS. He currently stars in Amazon's Jack Ryan reboot, which is produced by the company's Paramount Television Studios. He also wrote, directed and starred in the breakout feature A Quiet Place for the company's Paramount Pictures. A Quiet Place Part II is scheduled to be released in September, with Krasinski again directing.