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Yahoo! Sci-Fi Television The Media Entertainment

Yahoo To Produce Sci-Fi Streaming Sitcom 121

Posted by timothy
from the oh-it's-no-red-dwarf dept.
jfruh (300774) writes "As the heydays of Internet portals recede into the mists of history and Yahoo tries to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up, the company has decided to dip its toes into the incredibly expensive and unpredictable world of producing full-length television shows to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and HBO. One of the two may intrigue Slashdot readers: Paul Feig, co-creator of the cult '90s hit 'Freaks and Geeks' (and more recently the director of 'Bridesmaids') will product "Other Space," a comedy-adventure about a misfit group of space travelers who stumble onto an alternate universe. The second show, about a fictional Las Vegas NBA team, will appeal to Yahoo's sports audience." I wonder how long it will be until Google, Microsoft, and Apple are also all producing TV shows.
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Yahoo To Produce Sci-Fi Streaming Sitcom

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  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @10:48AM (#46868027) Journal
    There's no kind of atmosphere.
  • Microsoft (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft already IS producing its own shows.

    No friggen clue why. I'm pretty sure Apple and Google are smarter than that. Especially Google, since they've got youtube and just have half the internet produce their video content for them.

  • What's that? Some kind of device to improve willpower? To help you with your last testament?
    Or just lousy editing?

    I'm voting for the last one...

    • by Megane (129182)
      Yahoo is also getting into the hot new market for estate planning.
    • It's like "gifting" something..."to product" is "to make a product", right?

      • It's like "gifting" something..."to product" is "to make a product", right?

        That would be "Producting"

      • by camperdave (969942) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @01:18PM (#46869633) Journal

        It's like "gifting" something..."to product" is "to make a product", right?

        No. Producting is analogous to amateurducting. You see it all the time on those home renovation shows. Amateurducting doesn't have taped joints, holes cut through the floor joists, electrical junction boxes buried in the cold air returns. But with producting, you get even warmth all through the house, and everything is up to code and safe.

  • by Kimomaru (2579489) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @10:56AM (#46868119)
    For the last couple of years, mobile and "cloud" were the new things. Both absurd from a certain point of view - mobile because what were people doing with it exactly? Facebook and Snapchat? And cloud, as a concept, is not new. Every few years, companies don't have a choice and need to move into new markets because they're getting yelled out by shareholders. Fine. "Original Programming" is the new thing now? Everyone wants to do this (Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Google, now Yahoo, probably Facebook next month), they want to have a set top box in the living room that can be used for everything, but the irony is laughable because you need to own practically every set top box on the market to get all of the content out there since no one company has everything.

    So, "Original Programming" is going to be three times as expensive as cable and you'll be tracked and data mined.
    • by alen (225700)

      we had a huge consolidation of content over the last few decades into cable TV
      now we are going to get a cycle of degragmentation which means everyone selling a box and having exclusive content

      in a few years we will have another consolidation cycle because most people aren't dumb enough to buy a dozen boxes just to get every show
      same with computing and the internet in general over the last 50 years. in 10 years watch for the cloud to break up into a sunny day of defragmentation again as people get tired of

      • by Kimomaru (2579489)
        I don't think it'll get that far. It feels like the car has veered off the road into stupid land. There was a time when progress meant moving from hubs to switches, buying products online instead of going to the big box store - these were things that made life better, right? I'm pretty sure any thinking person can agree that there's a difference between improving life by creating the commercially viable cellular phone and building a gaudy monstrosity of a social network whose only raison d'etre is to col
      • by Agent0013 (828350)
        That's why you just hook a PC up to your TV. Then it's only one box and not a whole bunch of them. Of course I say this, but I watch Netflix using the WiiU or BlueRay player, and not the MythTV box that runs Linux and therefore does not even play Netflix shows.
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      but the irony is laughable because you need to own practically every set top box on the market to get all of the content out there since no one company has everything.

      Didn't the content industry say that was intentional?

      They saw what happened with the music industry and iTunes, and to prevent another iTunes happening, they intentionally spread out the competition. They don't want Netflix or Amazon or iTunes to have everything on purpose, because that means no one service will be able to control them. (If on

      • by Kimomaru (2579489)
        I think quitting television makes more sense for me than to keep up with this. Too complex. Television programming has never been high enough in quality to justify this kind of effort and expense on my part.
    • I read that as "Oriental Programming".
  • Sorry, but this really has no appeal for me. I like the occasional comic relief in my sci-fi but knowing it's a sitcom makes me not want to watch it. Jar Jar Binks is not funny. He's annoying. Droids that flap their arms around and behave in an overly anthropomorphized manner aren't funny. Spaceballs is funny but only because it's a spoof.

    • The problem is that most of the TV writers out there know a lot more about how to get a job writing for TV than they know about science.

      So you end up with concepts that might have worked as a 5 minute skit on a comedy show being dragged on and on and on.

      Personally, I'd like to see something like Freefall [purrsia.com] as a series.

    • After QUARK, no sci-fi comedy stands a chance. Haven't they figured that out yet?

      "Vision has no beauty" - Ficus.
    • Something moody, dark, and raw megatech-feeling like the superb German movie Cargo (I think it was 2009) mixed with Aliens (2 and 4), a dash of Firefly for style, and a splash of original Star Wars for colour (less of the force and more of the wacky non humanoid alien races). I would watch the shit out of that. Revelation Space would probably come closest.

      • IMHO, hard sci-fi doesn't sell too well to large audiences. Star Trek is more high-brow. Star Wars and Aliens, IMHO, needs the 2-hour film format to work. I'm really surprised that Firefly didn't last. It had fun and interesting characters, interesting back stories, plots that weren't run-of-the-mill stuff. Yes, there was comedy but it was nicely blended. I kinda hope Nathan Fillion decides to produce a new version of the series when he's done with Castle.

  • "a comedy-adventure about a misfit group of space travelers who stumble onto an alternate universe"

    Who better to produce this than a company that has no clue what it is doing and historically has wasted billions of dollars on pointless crap.

    • "a comedy-adventure about a misfit group of space travelers who stumble onto an alternate universe"

      Otherwise known as a Yahoo board meeting

    • "Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it."

      It's not even remotely original [wikipedia.org].

      • Are you going off some other source that describes the plot? Your link says they travel back in time to (presumably Earth's) prehistoric times. Not really the same as going to an alternate universe...unless they also go to prehistoric parts, the argument could be made. But more or less all the big ideas have already been done in sci fi, haven't they?

        If the first few seasons of Doctor Who are any indication of quality in the mid 60's, this is one of the few exceptions where I'd be in favor of a reimagining/r

    • Who knows, it might be entertaining.
      I for one won't judge until I see it, that is if it even goes live. Personally, I don't care who is producing what, I'm gonna give it a shot, then decide if it's worth watching or not. After all, it doesn't cost me anything, apart from some lost time if it proves to be shit.

  • by grumpyman (849537) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @10:57AM (#46868139)
    It's 45 years of age with teenage kids giving him trouble, bad spousal relationship, mid-life crisis...etc.
    • Only the most "advanced" apes are under the delusion that there is a time called being "grown up", or experience a resultant "mid-life crisis" by becoming disillusioned. The other species have avoided being duped through embracing the throwing of shit at others, becoming super-sexual "experimenters", and etc "immature" behaviors.

      Now, if you'll excuse me, I must correct an "anthropomorphic pan-sexual xenomorph fetishist" who is confused as to which Microsoft CEO tosses chairs and which leaps over them.

  • Wow, they've almost made it to the bottom of my "esteem" list!

    - scientists
    - programmers, physicians, carpenters, plumbers, etc.
    ...
    ...
    ...
    - journalists
    ...
    ...
    - politicians
    - lawyers
    ...
    ...
    - actors, movie producers
    - marketeers, advertisement agencies
    - lobbyists, RIAA, MPAA, etc.

    • So...basically, anyone whose job involves doing physical actions gets your thumbs-up? Sounds like theoretical physicists would be lower-middle and prostitutes would be near the top.

      Arbitrary value is arbitrary

      • I fail to see any ladder where prostitutes would NOT be at the top. Or on top. Or seen from behind.
        After all, Missionary position is "passe" :)

  • The internet age: giant companies with huge pots of money, searching for a direction.

    Google wants to fix the world. So does Bill Gates. Yahoo wants to be Netflix. Netflix wants to be Amazon, and Amazon wants to be Google.

    It seems the money came too easily and too abundantly, and there was never any plan past the basics: Microsoft, unify the desktop computer; Google, search engine; Netflix, streaming video; Amazon, tax-free products online.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Well Amazon totally failed then, because in most places you now have to pay sales tax for Amazon purchases. Their main advantage now is huge inventory and super-cheap shipping, so they frequently still make sense to buy from, but frequently not, depending on what you're buying and what kind of competition they have.

    • Where is facebook?

  • I mean the idea of nontraditional companies making shows.

    Last century the embodiment of that idea became "Soap Operas".

  • This actually makes sense. What in the world does a company like Yahoo have to do with producing a television show? That's easy - they already have the infrastructure in place to deliver that content to millions of people. They just need the content. That only leaves them a couple options. One is to try and work out some exclusive distribution deals for existing content, but that is certainly going to be re-runs of an existing show. So the other option is to fund the production of new media that they w

    • What in the world does a company like Yahoo have to do with producing a television show?

      They have money?

    • This actually makes sense. What in the world does a company like Yahoo have to do with producing a television show? That's easy - they already have the infrastructure in place to deliver that content to millions of people. They just need the content. That only leaves them a couple options. One is to try and work out some exclusive distribution deals for existing content, but that is certainly going to be re-runs of an existing show. So the other option is to fund the production of new media that they will own all rights to.

      Missing option: Make a deal with some "new-media" folk who already have some experience and give them adequate funding in return for a cut of profits from improved quality episodes of their non-rerun "comedy-adventure about a misfit group of space travelers". [youtube.com]

      How moronic is it that folks at a search company can't use said search features? It's not like this is a final frontier, or a space that's unexplored.

  • Netflix and Amazon, as streaming content providers, have apps on various devices such as some smart TVs, Roku, etc. At present I'm not aware of any Yahoo video app like that. Sure, the kids will just watch on their laptops - if they care enough to watch such shows and assuming they hear about them - but the older crowd that buys Roku, Amazon Fire, and similar devices won't watch without a dedicated app. We'll see what happens, but this sounds like a foolish thing for Yahoo to do unless they are able to g
    • Does Roku get software updates? If so, update it, duh, problem solved. Else buy a Roku 4 or yet another content-specific dongle. Let me guess, that "Amazon Fire" I'm learning about from your postdoesn't do iTunes/Apple TV stuff, and the Apple TV doesn't do Amazon stuff?

      I don't know the answer to that question, but regarding Yahoo.. I've also just found a Yahoo app is advertised on the Apple TV, under the name of Yahoo Screen (maybe it's not an "app", it's a "channel"? or whatever the hell they call that thi

  • The second show, about a fictional Las Vegas NBA team, will appeal to Yahoo's sports audience.

    ...Yahoo hopes. Let's wait and see.

  • In 1999, it was all about eyeballs, clicks and e-commerce. In 2010 it was all about cloud and mobile. Now it's all about tablets and eyeballs again with the entertainment angle. I know interest rates are low and stocks are an attractive investment now, but some of the stuff pumping up this current bubble is even less well thought out than pets.com and the like back in '99 and 2000. You would think some people would learn from the last 20 years.

    I see how Netflix et al can be a very useful service for enterta

  • by tippe (1136385) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @11:34AM (#46868539)

    Kind of sounds like Red Dwarf.

    Maybe they plan on stealing the Red Dwarf episodes, then using CGI to cover the Red Dwarf ship with the American stars and stripes and to replace the faces of the characters with something more pro-American, like the face of Tom Cruise (for Lister), the face of some Silicon Valley engineer (for Rimmer) and the face of Vin Diesel for "the Rottweiler" (formally "the Cat", but "the Cat" just isn't "American" enough). They could call the show "Red, White and Blue Dwarf", or the "Star Spangled Dwarf", or "Shock and Awe Dwarf" or something. I think it would be funny if their budget ran out before they had a chance to dub the voices over with something more American sounding. In my opinion, Vin Diesel would sound better as a British Rasta than he does now...

  • Media Wars: The executives of established media feel they aren't getting richer fast enough and some Johnny-come-latelys who initially made their money through technology are stepping on their lawn.

    • Be reduced to tears when you see the legislative ideas they come up with to protect their turf
    • Gasp at the amounts spent on bribery, I mean lobbying
  • "a comedy-adventure about a misfit group of space travelers who stumble onto an alternate universe"

    So... Red Dwarf [wikipedia.org] meets Sliders [wikipedia.org]?

  • Because only Netflix seems to understand there's huge markets outside of the U.S.A.

  • You've got a sci-fi sitcom, which already sounds iffy as hell, and it's made by Yahoo? That sounds like a combination from hell, but maybe it'll start off awesome and then only become a pile of crap later. You know, like they did with Launchcast.
    • As Yahoo's primary market is parents looking for a safe search engine for their kids, I'm sure the show will be edgy as hell with all kinds of questionable humor.

  • Let's see, there's at least tens of thousands of SF anf Fantasy novels out there, maybe hundreds of thousands, and some have won awards as being well worth reading.

    But we'll go come up with something that Hollywood producers (IQ == belt size) will understand, who will approach it with the following ideas
    1. We've got Names! We've got SPECIAL EFFECTS! Why would we need plot, continuity, stories worth watching?
    All we need is EXPLOSI

  • Will they show a beautiful and responsive webmail interface in some episodes? Think of the speed we'll be able to run Javascript at in the future, when some new tech replaces silicon! We'll even be able to access the notepad feature in less than five seconds!

  • part kills it for a lot of potential viewers. I know in the neighborhood where I live in Seattle that no one I know has enough bandwidth for streaming video. Netflix is still a mail-only thing for this area.
  • I wonder how long it will be until Google, Microsoft, and Apple are also all producing TV shows.

    Microsoft produces (or, at the very least, distributes) The Guild [kotaku.com].

  • I think the idea is they will be exclusive to the xbox marketplace/video service thing they have. One of the programs is the documentary on unearthing the Atari E.T. cartridges.

    "The first round of Xbox Originals will contain a healthy variety of shows, from the futuristic teen drama about robots "Humans," to the steampunk Western "Deadlands" (based on the tabletop role-playing game of the same name), to the street soccer documentary "Every Street United." Other programs included "Winterworld," "Gun Machine

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