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Sketch comedy show Alternatino With Arturo Castro has a new home.
The series will air on shortform streamer Quibi for its second season, moving from its former home of Comedy Central. It will become the second show to migrate directly from a linear network to Quibi, though the streamer has new versions of former MTV staples Punk’d and Singled Out and a revival of Comedy Central’s Reno 911 among its offerings.
Alternatino debuted on the ViacomCBS-owned cable network in June 2019 to decent reviews and modest linear ratings of about 220,000 same-day viewers per episode (with significant growth from delayed and multiplatform viewing). Castro created the series and played more than 40 characters across the 10-episode first season.
“I’m thrilled to launch Alternatino in this exciting new platform while being able to remain a part of the Comedy Central family,” said Castro. “I’m also thrilled about the churro truck they offered as part of the deal. Thanks Quibi! Mmm … churros.”
Alternatino comes from Comedy Central Productions, the network’s in-house studio, which is also behind the Reno 911 revival and an untitled travelogue series from Daily Show host Trevor Noah on Quibi. Season one of the show will remain on Comedy Central’s platforms and not make the move to Quibi.
Castro executive produces Alternatino with Avalon’s David Martin, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner and Sam Saifer, and Jay Martel and Ted Tremper. Ari Pearce and Manny Jaquez oversee for Comedy Central Productions.
The show’s move comes at a transition point for both Comedy Central and Quibi. The former has seen several executive departures as ViacomCBS consolidates its post-merger leadership structure, most recently with the announcement that head of content and creative enterprises Sarah Babineau will leave at the end of the year. News of her departure, just three months after her promotion, follows that of her former co-head of originals Jonas Larsen in January.
Comedy Central also recently canceled late-night entry Lights Out With David Spade after about eight months, making it the third series since The Colbert Report ended in 2015 to fail to gain a real foothold following The Daily Show. Lights Out is also produced by Comedy Central Productions, which is hoping to find another outlet for Spade’s show.
Quibi, meanwhile, launched April 6 with the pitch of being a mobile-only streaming app that would let people watch shows in short chunks during their downtime on commutes, at work breaks and the like. With millions of potential users under stay-at-home orders during the novel coronavirus pandemic, however, the platform has gotten off to a slower-than-projected start.
After 1.7 million downloads in its first week, Quibi has around 3 million downloads so far and has dropped out of the top 100 app rankings on Apple. Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg told The New York Times, “I attribute everything that has gone wrong to coronavirus. Everything. But we own it.”
The company is also facing a lawsuit from tech company Eko, which claims Quibi infringed on a patent allowing seamless transition between viewing shows in portrait or landscape mode on mobile devices. Quibi has filed its own suit against Eko as well; the case is currently in federal court.
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