In the streaming video world, this week has been one of contract announcements for the rights to popular older shows. The future of The Office, Friends, and more are solidified for a while. However, in the crowded streaming field, having something unique is essential to the success of the platform. Netflix has a ton of original programming, Hulu gets new episodes the day after airing, Disney has a century worth of catalog to offer. However, when Quibi announced that their service would be exclusive to T-Mobile customers, it looked like they were heading the wrong way.
This week, however, the company announced that a long canceled, but highly popular show would be coming back with new content on the platform. That series is Comedy Central sketch comedy series Reno 911! The series is a mix between Saturday Night Live and The Office, but with a twist. It's a mockumentary series setup in short sketches, in the style of Cops. The twist is that there isn't a script - only a loose idea of the direction of the sketch.
The important part of what this means is that Quibi has found the middle ground between the nostalgia factor that has worked for the other services and their promise of short-form content, or "quick bites." By licensing new content from the series, which is known for their short-form sketches, they can appeal to their target demographic of Millenials and GenZ, both of whom are a perfect target for Reno 911! It also gives us a little bit more of an idea of what Quibi is shooting for with their platform. The pitch has, thus far, been vague, to say the least - sounding a lot like the TikTok or Vine of professional storytelling. Sketch comedy, though, seems like a great content type for this medium. We'll learn more about the company's plan at CES 2020 during CEO Meg Whitman's keynote.