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WIRE Buzz: SpongeBob spinoff to CBS All Access; Black Mirror creators; Peacock hits 10 million
A week after SYFY WIRE got to show off a first look at many characters from the SpongeBob SquarePants prequel series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, news has come down that the animated time at summer camp won't be airing on its predecessor's home of Nickelodeon. Instead, the early days of Bikini Bottom's famous residents will debut on CBS All Access.
This news comes as part of a CBS All Access overhaul, which CNBC reports will include a rebrand for the streamer next year alongside a ton of new content. The metric ton of new shows heading to the streamer will help position it better in the escalated streaming wars that've recently seen two major players — NBCU's Peacock and WarnerMedia's HBO Max — enter the playing field. Part of that strategy is high-quality original programming.
That means the new Star Trek shows (including Star Trek: Lower Decks, Picard, and Discovery) and, now, Kamp Koral. The series will debut in early 2021 while SpongeBob movie The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will land there exclusively around the same time.
Netflix has invested heavily in those behind the hit dystopia twist-fest Black Mirror. Not Black Mirror itself, but its creators.
According to Variety, the streamer has invested in Black Mirror co-creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones' new production company Broke and Bones, with the multi-year deal ending with the option for Netflix to buy it entirely. That means the duo will be making new Netflix projects for the foreseeable future, even if they aren't Black Mirror things. In fact, since the rights to that show live at a different company (Endemol Shine Group), Netflix may drop the Black Mirror deal entirely to focus on new projects from the talent responsible for it.
Some of the talent at the new company includes VFX producer and Bandersnatch alum Russell McLean, who is working on more interactive projects, and a pair of Brooker and Jones' former Endemol Shine colleagues, Jo Kay and Holly Sait. Basically, this all translates to Netflix looking to develop proprietary projects from the same talent behind the sci-fi anthology...without needing to pay for the Black Mirror name.
No word on when the first project from this investment will see the light of day.
Finally, the first numbers have started to drop for new NBCU streamer Peacock. While the second major streamer to drop this year, its competition is high and launch strategy very different. HBO Max grandfathered fans in and gave out automatic memberships to select AT&T customers. Peacock's strategy was more angled towards having a completely free, ad-driven tier. Now, the latter is saying that their numbers have come out on top.
While streaming numbers are, by their nature, taken with a grain of salt, Peacock has claimed that it has reached 10 million sign-ups since its limited April 15 launch, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"NBCUniversal successfully launched Peacock in (Comcast) Cable’s footprint in April, ahead of the streaming service’s U.S. nationwide launch earlier this month, with 10 million sign-ups to date," said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts during the company's second-quarter earnings report.
This big ol' number of course "exceeded" their expectations, though they hope to have 30-35M subscribers by 2024. HBO Max, for context, claimed 4.1M subscribers over its first launch month. To put all this in perspective, Netflix (the biggest streamer out there) has around 182.8M subscribers - but then again, they didn't launch this year.