Another day, another upcoming streaming service with an ambitious slate of programming. With the TV landscape already more crowded than ever, Jeffrey Katzenberg is looking to reinvent the very medium with Quibi, a streaming service that will deliver “quick bites” of content — episodes or installments running 10 minutes or less. Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman have pitched the mobile-based service as quick entertainment for viewers on the go.
“You leave the house every morning with a little TV in your pocket. It’s called your smart phone,” Whitman said in 2018. “During the day, you have these in-between moments. Ten minutes here, 15 minutes there, where you want to see something great.”
Quibi is scheduled to launch on April 6, 2020 with a two-tier pricing system: $4.99 with ads, $7.99 without. And lest anyone remain skeptical, the service already has a raft of A-list talent lined up for various projects. Read on for a list of everything in development. Details are varying degrees of vague on all of them — and these are just the projects we know enough about to actually describe.
Punk’d and Singled Out: MTV is “reimagining” two of its most famous reality shows in short-form…form. Keke Palmer and Joel Kim Booster will host the new Singled Out, helping singles of all genders and sexual preferences select one person from a diverse pool for a date.
Elba vs. Block: Is there anything Idris Elba can’t do? After DJ’ing at Coachella earlier this year, the actor ventures into the realm of stunt driving with this eight-episode series. Elba will compete with professional rally driver Ken Block in such car-based setpieces as the “Wall of Death,” the “Car Tightrope,” and the “Flaming Obstacle Course.”
Thanks a Million: Jennifer Lopez, Kristen Bell, Tracy Morgan, and more will lead episodes of this series, in which the celebrity in question donates $100,000 to an influential person from their life. That person gives $50,000 to someone else, who gives $25,000 to someone else, and on down the line. We’re guessing-slash-hoping giant checks will be involved.
You Ain’t Got These: This unscripted show from The Chi creator Lena Waithe explores social issues through the lens of sneaker culture.
BEAUTY: Starring and executive produced by Tyra Banks, this docuseries “aims to expand and redefine the definition of beauty,” in Banks’ words, by exploring and challenging traditional beauty standards throughout the world.
Untitled beauty industry show: Perhaps as a counterpoint to Banks’ show, Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Rosie Huntington-Whiteley will host a series highlighting icons of the beauty industry, examining their success stories and the ways they revolutionized the world of beauty.
Fight Like a Girl: WWE comes to Quibi for this unscripted series, which sees pro wrestlers pairing with young women to help them overcome personal issues, and “become tougher, stronger and healthier versions” of themselves. (Can we change WWE to stand for Women Wrestler Empowerment?)
Biggest Little Cook-Off: Befitting the bite-size nature of Quibi’s content, chefs on this comedic competition series will battle it out to create the best single bite of food. (We’re talking sushi on a single grain of rice.) Andy Samberg will host, executive produce, and as he notes, “still be hungry after the shows.”
Shape of Pasta: Chef Evan Funke, mastermind behind Los Angeles’ Felix Trattoria and a “perpetual student of handmade pasta,” scours Italy for the supreme pasta masters in this eight-episode unscripted series. Funke will seek out rare and unique pasta shapes and techniques in an effort to keep these traditions alive.
Benedict Men: This docuseries (executive produced by Steph Curry) examines the high school basketball team at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, New Jersey, an all-boys school founded on the core belief “What Hurts My Brother Hurts Me.” The series follows the young men on the team, who seek to balance their lives in complicated surroundings.
Centerpiece: Floral artist Maurice Harris hosts this exploration of creativity (executive produced by Rashida Jones and her creative partner Will McCormack) through the lens of flower design. Each episode will feature a celebrity guest creating a floral centerpiece with Harris.
Nightgowns: Sasha Velour‘s acclaimed live drag revue is coming to Quibi, with the RuPaul’s Drag Race champion executive producing an eight-part series based on the stage act. Each episode will focus on one performer as they prep for their individual showcases — “part behind-the-scenes documentary, part lip-sync spectacular,” according to Velour.
Untitled music competition series: Justin Bieber‘s longtime manager Scooter Braun is producing, and will be a judge for, a musical competition series. How will it differ from The Voice or American Idol? Unclear, but Katzenberg promises it will be “unique and differentiated.”
This Day in Useless Celebrity History: Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon will recount recent pop cultural happenings (basically anything millennials have been gabbing about since 2000) with his signature sass.
Killing Zac Efron: Zac Efron is going off the grid for this intriguingly titled adventure series, which sees the High School Musical star heading “deep into the jungles of a remote island to carve his own name in expedition history.” Hopefully he’ll bring more than just his song-and-dance skills.
Cup of Joe: Joe Jonas is joining his wife Sophie Turner on Quibi with this eight-part travelogue. Cup of Joe follows Jonas on his and his brothers‘ Happiness Begins tour, as he explores each city where they perform with the help of a local guide.
Slugfest: This docuseries charting the rise of, and eventual rivalry between, DC and Marvel Comics, is executive produced by Anthony and Joe Russo — who, as the directors of such Marvel films as Avengers: Endgame, boast the appropriate pedigree for such a project.
Blackballed: Call it “Quibi for 30”: This documentary series delves into the scandal that led to the ouster of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, after a recording of Sterling making racist comments was released.
Skrrt with Offset: On this series, celebrities join Migos member, and car aficionado, Offset to discuss their cars and the stories behind them, and take part in “a unique ‘one on one’ auto experience.” Hopefully that doesn’t just mean a personalized rap verse for each guest.
Last Looks: This true crime series looks at the dark side of fashion, with each episode examining a different crime and its perpetrator while also exploring the world of haute couture.
Potty Talk: Renowned fashion designer Alexander Wang will host a talk show like no other, interviewing celebrities in the bathroom at high-profile events. “It may seem unconventional, but the bathroom is the perfect environment for a chat series,” a press release promises. “It is a safe haven where one can find refuge from the crowds, let their guard down and have a private place to let loose and gossip.” Why didn’t Terry Gross think of this?
&Music: Scooter Braun is also producing this documentary series, which spotlights the behind-the-scenes collaborators who help the biggest stars in music create their live performances.
Dishmantled: An utterly unique cooking competition series, Dishmantled, hosted by Tituss Burgess, will begin each episode by blasting a food dish into two blindfolded chefs’ faces with a cannon. The chefs will then attempt to identify the dish and race to re-create it, with a prize going to whoever comes closest. That’s what we’d call extreme cooking.
Empires of Luxury: Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan and filmmaker Eddie Schmidt (Netflix’s Ugly Delicious) are coming together for this look into “the elite families behind the world’s most exclusive luxury labels,” who have managed to keep their businesses in the family for generations. Special focus will be given to “the millennial members” who are guiding the brands toward the future.
Life-Size Toys: Daredevil group Nitro Circus, known for such feats as backflipping into the Grand Canyon, will headline a series in which larger-than-life versions of favorite childhood toys become vehicles for stunts — for instance, an air rocket that can launch a grown man skyward.
The Sauce: Viral-sensation dance duo Ayo & Teo (the pair behind 2017’s hit single “Rolex”) are hosting this traveling dance-competition series, which will follow the brothers from city to city as they spotlight each location’s dance culture and attempt to track down the hottest talent. Dance teams from each city will ultimately battle it out for the top prize.
The Andy Cohen Diaries: This animated series, a follow-up to Cohen’s best-selling memoirs, will chronicle “iconic and untold moments” from the Watch What Happens Live host’s daily life, from celebrity encounters to the trials of first-time fatherhood.
Don’t Look Deeper: Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns) and Don Cheadle headline this sci-fi series directed and executive produced by Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke. The story, set “15 minutes into the future” (whatever that entails), follows a high school senior who realizes she may not be human.
Frat Boy Genius: Based on a buzzy feature screenplay, this series will tell the tale of Snapchat’s rise through a Social Network-esque, reportedly deeply unflattering portrait of founder Evan Spiegel.
The Fugitive: A modern, social media-infused update of the classic TV series (and 1993 Harrison Ford film), The Fugitive tells the tale of Mike Ferro (Logan‘s Boyd Holbrook), who must clear his name by tracking down the real perpetrator of a bombing in Los Angeles. Prison Break‘s Nick Santora is writing the series, and Kiefer Sutherland will play the cop hot on Ferro’s trail.
#Freerayshawn: Antoine Fuqua, director of The Equalizer and 2016’s The Magnificent Seven, is producing this drama, which Katzenberg pitched as a modern twist on ’70s classic Dog Day Afternoon. Stephan James (Homecoming) stars as Rayshawn, an Iraq War veteran who takes shelter in his apartment building after a botched drug deal. Amid a police standoff and growing media frenzy, a sympathetic cop (played by Laurence Fishburne) tries to convince him to surrender.
Crazy Talented: Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) will direct this twisted superhero tale, in which a charismatic leader convinces psych ward patients that they possess extraordinary “talents,” and must stop alien weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
The Stranger: In this thriller, written and directed by Veena Sud (The Killing), a mysterious Hollywood Hills passenger enters a young ride share driver’s car. Over 12 hours, the two venture into the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles in a spine-chilling game of cat and mouse.
When the Street Lights Go On: This project has had a long, winding road to the screen: Written as a film, the script ranked second on the 2011 Black List, later being reworked and produced as a pilot for Hulu, who passed. The pilot was shopped around (even screening at the Sundance Film Festival) but never picked up. Now, this story — about a young girl’s murder that rocks a suburban town — has finally found a home at Quibi. It will be rewritten yet again, with Stranger Things alum Rebecca Thomas directing.
The Last American Vampire: Based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (on board as an EP), this series will follow a young female FBI agent as she’s partnered with a wealthy, 500-year-old vampire bon vivant to protect the world from a dangerous threat.
Survive: Sophie Turner is following up a little show called Game of Thrones with this thriller, also starring Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton). The show tells the story of two survivors of a plane crash on a remote mountain, who must work together as they combat the elements and their personal demons to make it back to civilization.
Untitled action-thriller project: Liam Hemsworth will star as Dodge Maynard, a terminally ill man desperate to care for his pregnant wife — enough so that he joins a potentially lucrative game that turns out to be a deadly ruse that pits him as the prey in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. Cristoph Waltz will also star as Miles Sellers, with Nick Santora (CBS’ Scorpion) writing and Phil Abraham (Daredevil) directing.
Untitled Guillermo del Toro project: The Oscar-winning Shape of Water director is developing a project described as a “modern zombie story.”
El Señor de Los Cielos prequel: Telemundo is partnering with Quibi on a prequel to its acclaimed telenovela, chronicling the rise of notorious real-life drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes.
Swimming with Sharks: A contemporary adaptation of the 1995 Kevin Spacey-starring Hollywood satire, this series follows a young female assistant at a studio “filled with manipulators, schemers and intrigue,” who just might outwit all of them.
Wireless: This thriller, executive produced by Steven Soderbergh (who knows a thing or two about what mobile phones can bring to entertainment), stars Tye Sheridan as a self-obsessed college student stranded in the Colorado mountains, with his smartphone as his only tool for survival. The show is described as “a survival movie for the next generation about the lies we tell through our phones, and the lies our phones tell us.” Andie MacDowell will also star, in an undisclosed role.
Charlemagne: With Vikings wrapping up its run, creator Michael Hirst is moving on to another historical drama, based on the life of Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, who united much of Europe during his reign amid a “salacious” personal life.
Toys: Melinda Hsu Taylor (The CW’s Nancy Drew) is adapting James Patterson‘s dystopian best-seller, which tells the tale of a young woman in a near future in which DNA manipulation has split humans into genetically enhanced “Elites” and unaltered “Basics.”
Transmissions: Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio is developing a sci-fi thriller about a lone scientist at a remote observatory who starts to receive strange signals from deep space.
Code 8 spinoff: Cousins Stephen Amell and Robbie Amell are extending their passion project Code 8 with a spinoff series based on the 2019 film, set in a world where 4 percent of the population is born with supernatural abilities. The show will apparently take place several years after the movie.
CURS_R: Ridley Scott joins Quibi’s stable of A-list filmmakers as an EP on this thriller, which follows a broke student who attempts to win a cash prize by playing a strange 1980s computer game. She soon realizes, however, that she’s actually playing for her life.
Royalties: Darren Criss will star in, executive produce, and write songs for this musical comedy series, following a ragtag songwriting duo named Sara and Pierce. Criss is also co-writing the series with fellow Team StarKid co-founders Nick and Matt Lang (of A Very Potter Musical fame).
Dummy: Starring Anna Kendrick and Donal Logue (of the late Gotham), this comedy follows the story of an aspiring writer and her boyfriend’s sex doll(?). Originally written as a TV pilot, the project was developed into a film script to be diced up into Quibi’s 10-minute-or-less “bites.”
Mapleworth Murders: From EPs Lorne Michaels and Seth Meyers comes this comedic mystery-procedural, written by Paula Pell (A.P. Bio) and John Lutz (30 Rock), who also star alongside J. B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Hayley Magnus (The Dressmaker). The show follows a murder mystery author (Pell) who sets out to solve a spate of killings in her quaint, small town. Also on board are a murderer’s row (sorry) of SNL veterans and other comedy figures in supporting or guest roles, including (deep breath): Fred Armisen, Tina Fey, Wanda Sykes, Maya Rudolph, D’Arcy Carden, Tim Meadows, Patton Oswalt, Jack McBrayer, Annie Mumolo, Ike Barinholtz, Chris Parnell, Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, and Nicole Byer.
The Now: Peter Farrelly (Green Book) and Bobby Farrelly bring you the story of a suicidal man named Ed Poole, whose brother and father have already died by suicide. For the sake of his mother, the man strives to turn things around, and learn to live in “the now.” Dave Franco stars as Poole, with O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Daryl Hannah also starring, and Bill Murray and Alyssa Milano in recurring roles.
Varsity Blues: A “modern take” on the 1999 James Van Der Beek-starring film is in production. Like the film, the show will follow a high school football team and their struggles with a hostile coach. No casting news has been announced, but one can only hope Van Der Beek will show up at some point.
Winos: Thomas Lennon is masterminding this series as creator, writer, executive producer, and star. The show follows a failed Silicon Valley entrepreneur who relocates to wine country and tries to improve the fortunes of a struggling vineyard. Comedic fish-out-of-water antics will presumably abound.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: Another updated spin on a film, this one reworks the 2003 Matthew McConaughey-starring rom-com into the story of an online columnist and an advertising executive who both need to prove that they’re capable of being monogamous. They soon discover keeping a relationship is harder than Andie Anderson made it look.
Last Resort: This comedy, produced by Dwayne Johnson and Paul Feig, focuses on a Polynesian family who run a resort in Hawaii. Their life is upended when a tech billionaire puts in a bid to buy the land.
Flipped: A “chronically underemployed” couple (played by Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson) strive to become TV’s next great home-renovation show duo in this comedy series produced by Funny or Die. Unfortunately, their plans are waylaid somewhat when members of a drug cartel (Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, and Broad City‘s Arturo Castro) kidnap the pair and force them to renovate their massive houses.
Memory Hole: Dive back into all the cringeworthy pop culture events you forgot — or maybe never even knew about in the first place — with this series, hosted by Will Arnett and created by Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj writer Scott Vrooman.
Untitled Cara Delevingne prank show: The Carnival Row star will host a practical joke series in which she and “a band of female accomplices” wreak mischief and mayhem by executing ever-more-elaborate pranks and stunts.
Nikki Fre$h: Nicole Richie, rapper? That’s the premise of this comedy series, which follows Richie’s titular alter ego as she strives to bring her own educational, wellness-related brand of rap (known as “Parent Trap”) to the world.
Kirby Jenner: The Kardashian empire is now expanding to Quibi, as Kendall Jenner‘s “twin brother” Kirby (actually a “faux Kardashian” known for his parody Instagram account) gets his own showcase series. Kendall and matriarch Kris Jenner will also appear on the show, as well as executive produce.
Agua Donkeys: Produced by Funny or Die, this series follows two employees at a pool-cleaning company on their quest for “the perfect tan, the perfect vibe, and the perfect mix of bromine and chlorine” for pool-cleaning. The short film on which it’s based has been called a “Californian Napoleon Dynamite.”
Nice One!: Comedian Ron Funches (Noelle) hosts this comedic game show, in which comedians attempt to out-compliment each other.
Rapper Warrior Ninja: Ahead of his Adult Swim show’s long-delayed fifth season, Eric Andre is bringing one of its most memorable segments to Quibi with Rapper Warrior Ninja. Hip-hop stars will attempt to navigate a perilous obstacle course while freestyling — typical Andre fare, in other words, if any Andre fare can be described as typical.
Action Scene: This series follows Kevin Hart, as himself, on a quest to land a major role in an action movie. After being rejected for a role, he has a random run-in with an A-list action star, leading to a chain of events that result in Hart fighting his way through several comedically over-the-top action sequences — with cameos by “some of Hollywood’s biggest action movie heroes” along the way.
Floored: YouTube star Liza Koshy hosts this bizarre spin on competitive dance shows, in which two teams attempt to perform pre-rehearsed routines on a floor that “lifts, tilts, drops, shakes and spins in time to the music.” As if that weren’t enough, they’ll also be plagued by surprise obstacles. And you thought Dancing With the Stars was strenuous.
Junior High: Created by and starring Jimmy Tatro (American Vandal) and his longtime collaborator Christian Pierce, this series has its roots in the pair’s YouTube comedy, and follows them, as middle schoolers, struggling to figure out the fast-paced world of junior high.
Skinny Dip: This show, based on Carl Hiaasen’s 2004 novel, is a darkly comic revenge saga about a woman whose husband flings her overboard on a cruise. Miraculously, she’s rescued by a retired cop, and the pair begin plotting to gaslight her husband. Writers Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner (House) previously developed the project at the CW before Quibi picked it up.
Reno 911!: Quibi is in the revival business, too. Comedy Central’s cult-hit cop show, cancelled in 2009, will be back for a new season on the streaming service with co-creators Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Kerri Kenney-Silver back to write and star.
Gayme Show: Matt Rogers (co-host of podcast Las Culturistas with SNL‘s Bowen Yang) and comedian Dave Mizzoni will host this comedic competition series, in which two straight contestants are paired with a celebrity “life partner” as they go head-to-head in various challenges to earn the title of “Queen of the Straights.”
Black Coffee: Gabrielle Union will executive produce this series from writer-director Morgan Cooper. The story follows a former basketball star from Kansas City who returns home and opens a coffee shop in his old neighborhood.
Spielberg’s After Dark: Appointment TV is back, sorta. The beloved filmmaker is writing a “10 or 12-chapter” spooky story that can only be viewed after the sun goes down.
Wolves and Villagers: Pitched by Katzenberg as “Fatal Attraction 2.0,” this series boasts Naomi Watts in the lead role and Blumhouse maestro Jason Blum (the producer behind Get Out and Ma) as an executive producer.
50 States of Fright: Original Spider-Man and The Evil Dead helmer Sam Raimi is producing this horror anthology, which draws inspiration from the folklore of each U.S. state. Rachel Brosnahan, Christina Ricci, Ming-Na Wen, and more are on board to star in different episodes.
Emma: AnnaSophia Robb (The Act, The Carrie Diaries) stars in this horror series, directed by American Psycho helmer Mary Harron, as a pregnant young woman who must reckon with her pregnancy’s “increasingly disturbing effects” and a possible conspiracy around it.
Tomie: Quibi sees Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop and raises it Tomie. Alexandre Aja (Crawl) will direct a live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series, which “starts out as a murder mystery,” with a high school girl disappearing and pieces of her body popping up across a small town, before becoming “something even more horrific.”
Daily Essentials (News and More)
Late Night This Morning: EW is launching its own program on Quibi, a daily recap show highlighting the smartest monologues, best interviews, and must-see sketches from the previous evening’s slate of late-night shows. Our hosts will also provide classically EW commentary, including which show “won” the night.
Fashion’s a Drag: A Star Is Born actor, makeup mogul, and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Willam will lead a panel of drag queens and fashion experts as they candidly discuss today’s hottest celebrity fashion trends.
NBC News: As part of Quibi’s “Daily Essentials” news programming, NBC News will produce six-minute morning and evening newscasts, offering quick recaps of the most important stories of the day.
BBC News: The British network will provide Quibi’s international news coverage.
The Drop: A curated news show focusing on the hip-hop industry and culture.
60 in 6: 60 Minutes will offer its signature brand of news storytelling in one-tenth of the time.
Untitled The Dodo series: Quibi has partnered with the animal-focused media site The Dodo for a daily series focusing on “emotionally resonant animal stories.”
ESPN: The premier sports network will provide coverage for Quibi’s slate of news shows.
The Weather Channel: Ditto The Weather Channel, which will provide national and local weather news and forecasts.
TMZ: The celebrity news site will bring its signature brand of coverage to the streaming service with two “unique, edgy” daily shows.
Telemundo: Quibi will also offer news content from Telemundo for Spanish-speaking audiences, with an entertainment news show along with a more general program.
Polygon: The culture site will have its own show for all the biggest gaming-related news along with expert analysis, interviews, previews, and more.
Your Daily Horoscope: Why not revolutionize the horoscope, too, while we’re at it? This one-of-a-kind series will pair daily horoscope readings with the stories of animated millennial characters, inspired by the twelve zodiac signs, who work at a tech start-up. It’s described as “self-help through storytelling” and executive produced by Will Arnett.
The Rachel Hollis Show: Author-blogger-motivational speaker Rachel Hollis will offer daily bites of motivation targeted at young mothers.
Sexology with Shan Boodram: Certified sex educator and relationship expert Shan Boodram will host a daily show offering advice on sex, dating, and relationships in the modern age.
The Nod with Brittany & Eric: Based on the podcast of the same name, this daily show, hosted by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, explores the ins and outs of current black culture.