1091 Plots Digital Release of Psychological Thriller ‘Nix’

1091 Pictures, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, will release the psychological horror film Nix on all major digital platforms on Sept. 27.

Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante (Sharknado) and written by Skyler Caleb, James Zimbardi, Woodrow Wilson Hancock III and Ferrante, the film stars Zimbardi (Awaken the Shadowman), Dee Wallace (Halloween, E.T.) and Michael Pare (Streets of Fire). The film was financed by executive producer Gary Rubens and is produced by Hancock.
 
A psychological horror film inspired by Germanic folklore, the story of Nix follows a tragedy at a mysterious lake and its frightening consequences as a shattered family unravels the truth.
 
Nix is Ferrante’s first dramatic horror film since 2005’s Boo.
 
“Once we landed on the concept of Nix and realized its potential, I was excited to return to my horror roots with this elevated, original horror movie,” Ferrante said. “It was also a chance to dig deep into these fractured, haunted characters and explore the depth and emotion within this dark setting while still delivering solid thrills and chills. I’m very proud of the film we created and excited to work with 1091 Pictures to unleash it this fall just in time for Halloween.”
 

‘Wedding Talk’ Series to Debut on Chicken Soup, Crackle Ad-Supported Streaming

Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment operator of advertising-supported video on demand (AVOD) streaming services, Sept. 22 announced the original series “Wedding Talk,” starring hosts Tara Lipinski, Jose Rolon and Jove Meyer, will debut Oct. 13.

“Wedding Talk” will be available exclusively on the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Crackle ad-supported streaming apps, as well as Chicken Soup for the Soul’s free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel.

Olympic Gold Medalist and Olympic commentator Lipinski pivots from sports to fashion as she discusses all things nuptials with wedding planner José Rolón (New York’s José Rolón Events) and leading wedding designer Jove Meyer (named Top Planner by Harper’s Bazaar, Brides and The Knot) during each 30-minute episode.

The 10-episode series is a deep dive into wedding footage gathered from Love Stories TV. The three hosts dish on the destinations, décor and the dresses, as well as every other element that makes these events momentous. This expert trio isn’t about dragging the newlyweds down the aisle; instead, “Wedding Talk” is a celebration of every ceremony, a discussion of what’s hot and what’s not in the wedding industry today, and inspirational ideas for viewers to create their own dream day.

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“Our viewers are going to fall in love with the romance and emotion of the spectacular weddings featured in Wedding Talk,” Jeff Meier, head of programming for Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “We know the world of weddings is an audience favorite, and we’re excited to introduce viewers to a series that lets them dive in and immerse themselves in these beautiful events with Wedding Talk.”

“We are so excited to launch this series on Crackle and Chicken Soup for the Soul, which we feel is a perfect fit for the show,” Rachel Silver, founder and chief executive officer of Love Stories TV, said in a statement. “The diversity of their audience, as well as a passionate love for wedding content, reflects the variety and inclusiveness of the series and, like the couples we feature, will make for a perfect match.”

OTT.X Speakers Discuss Diverse Models and Importance of Better Discovery and Data

Industry leaders from all aspects of the home entertainment business said there’s a place for all the different business models, including transactional (digital rental and sale), subscription streaming, ad-supported streaming and rental kiosks at the OTT.X Fall Summit Aug. 31 in Los Angeles.

Still, gathering data on consumers’ tastes and helping them discover content are key challenges in the marketplace, said speakers on the “Insights From Today’s Industry Leaders” panel.

In the next three to five years, the home entertainment marketplace will continue to offer a smorgasbord of options that consumers will cobble together, said Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment at Fandango.

“I think people will have some sort of primary subscription service … peppered with an add-on subscription portfolio. … You would have a digital library … then I think you’ll rent a couple of movies over the weekend,” he said.

Philippe Guelton, chief revenue officer at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, noted chairman and CEO William J. Rouhana is “very bullish” and that the company “started from scratch five years ago,” acquiring different entertainment players. Most recently, Chicken Soup acquired Redbox, with its streaming services, transactional digital business and more than 30,000 kiosk locations renting discs. Guelton said the physical presence has “amazing power” and that Redbox is a “amazing brand.”

“We’re going to be more diversified,” he said, noting the Redbox kiosks are “grossly underestimated as a business.”

Combining Redbox’s businesses with Chicken Soup’s existing Crackle business is “really targeting a value conscious consumer,” he said.

“The Walmart consumer is a large part of our country,” he said.

Cinedigm is “business model agnostic” said Erick Opeka, chief strategy officer. He said one of the industry’s key challenges is helping consumers discover content they want to watch.

“We’ve got 100 years of programming at everybody’s fingertips, and no one knows how to sift through it,” he said, adding Cinedigm is exploring “natural language” AI for better content discovery.

Key gatekeepers are platforms such as Vizio, speakers noted. Katherine Pond, group VP of platform, content and partnerships at Vizio, said the company collects useful data that it can share with content partners.

“We have the ability to see what consumers are watching,” she said. For instance, if Vizio data shows a spike in viewership, she can say, “Let’s go talk to that network about making a FAST [free ad-supported streaming] channel about this.”

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“Some platforms recognize sharing of data creates a good ecosystem,” said Opeka, noting that Vizio “is one of our best partners in that regard.” Still, he said access to data is often tricky as such exclusive information is valuable.

Guelton pointed out that Redbox — through its 40 million customer loyalty program — and other segments of the Chicken Soup business also collect useful data about customers.

“It gives us a currency that we can maybe trade,” he said. “This is data that studios want.”

Redbox Adding ‘Value Menu’ to Its Site

Redbox is adding a new feature to its site — the Redbox Value Menu.

The menu showcases deals on movie titles on demand and in its 36,000 kiosks, as well as on AVOD and FAST channels.

It’s one of Redbox’s newest features after the Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment deal closed earlier this month. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Aug. 11 announced the completion of the acquisition of Redbox Entertainment, creating a content and distribution company targeting value-conscious consumers. The combined companies now offer more than 145 free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels, transactional video on demand (TVOD), and a network of more than 36,000 packaged-media kiosks renting Hollywood studio movies nationwide, all supported by original film and television production and distribution divisions.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Announces New Senior Leadership Team

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment chairman and CEO William J. Rouhana on Aug. 22 announced the formation of a new senior leadership team drawn from both Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and newly acquired Redbox.

As previously announced, entertainment and streaming industry veterans Galen C. Smith, executive vice chairman, and Jonathan Katz, president, will lead this team of executives. Both Smith and Katz will report to Rouhana.

Smith, executive vice chairman of Redbox and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, will oversee all long-term planning for the company, including strategy, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and corporate services. Reporting to him are:

  • SVP, corporate communications, Peter Binazeski, who heads the company’s corporate communications and public relations;
  • Chief people officer Marisa Famulare, who continues to direct all people functions;
  • Chief innovation officer Jason Kwong, who shifts duties to the newly expanded role of incubating and developing future areas of growth for the combined business;
  • CFO Chris Mitchell, who continues responsibility for all financial operations, capital structure and investor relations;
  • Chief strategy officer Elana Sofko, who continues to manage M&A activities and international expansion; and
  • Chief legal officer Fred Stein, who expands his Redbox role to oversee all legal, business affairs and risk management.
     

Katz will oversee day-to-day operations, including the company’s streaming, kiosk, distribution and studio businesses. Reporting to him are:

  • Chief operating officer and president, Redbox Service, Michael Chamberlain, who continues to oversee the operations of the Redbox kiosk business, and leads the growing kiosk service business;
  • CEO, studios, David Ellender, who continues to lead the Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group, developing and producing original content for all owned-and-operated platforms, now including Redbox kiosks and streaming, as well as third-party productions;
  • Chief acquisitions and distribution officer David Fannon, who continues to oversee all domestic and international content acquisition and distribution, expanding his purview to include Redbox, and who continues in his role as president of Screen Media Ventures;
  • Chief marketing officer Mike Feldner, who adds the combined company to his Redbox role, heading up all marketing, branding and creative services, along with leading the company’s analytics and insights team;
  • Chief revenue officer Philippe Guelton, who expands his role to lead all advertising sales and operations, as well as revenue partnerships across the company; and
  • Chief digital officer Adam Mosam, who adds to his responsibilities oversight of the company’s streaming businesses, including product, technology and platform distribution.

 

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“Our new senior leadership team brings together some of the best executives in the streaming and entertainment business and sets us up for continued success,” Rouhana said in a statement. “Our company is scaling rapidly — especially after our recent acquisition of Redbox. As we continue to grow, this team has the knowledge, skill and drive to build a major company that delivers premium entertainment to value-conscious consumers. I’m very excited about the future of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.”

Q&A: CEO Serves Up Online Strategy for Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

William J. Rouhana Jr. is chairman and CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and has been CEO since April 2008. A leader in the media, entertainment and communications industries for more than 35 years, he was the founder and CEO of Winstar Communications, a wireless broadband pioneer, and Winstar New Media, one of the earliest online content companies, from 1993 until 2001. During his career Rouhana has led the acquisition of numerous media companies including Virgin Vision, a Virgin Group worldwide film distribution venture, in the 1980s. As an entertainment and finance lawyer from 1977 to 1985, he developed new film financing models for major producers such as Blake Edwards. He is a founder of The Humpty Dumpty Institute, which created the International Film Exchange, and the co-chairman of the Global Creative Forum, which connects the United Nations with major film and television executives, producers and talent.

In May, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment announced it would acquire Redbox Entertainment, operator of more than 38,000 DVD rental kiosks and branded digital entertainment properties. The announcement came on the heels of the March announcement of an agreement to acquire the assets of 1091 Media, comprising its distribution business known as 1091 Pictures.

Media Play News asked the long-time executive what he plans with the acquisitions and about the long-term strategy of his company. 

 MPN: What is your grand vision for Chicken Soup for the Soul?

Rouhana: We, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, are building the best AVOD and bringing great content to everyone at no cost at all. We are increasing our high-quality original and exclusive content, expanding our reach, and driving ad sales through our new tech platform and ad formats.

If we execute on all these initiatives, we should be able to drive significant shareholder and consumer value en route to building the best AVOD. 

MPN: What are the entertainment properties/services under the banner and how do they integrate?

Rouhana: We have three key AVOD streaming services within Crackle Plus — which has 40M+ MAUs:

  • Crackle — a top AVOD network — a leading, free-to-use video entertainment streaming service featuring full length movies and TV shows including original and exclusive content;
  • Popcornflix — created for viewers who want to watch action, adventure and heart-pounding moments from full-length movies, compelling documentaries, foreign films and unique original web series; and
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul — our newest streaming service, which includes entertaining, inspiring, uplifting, and informative content with a large selection of movies as well as TV series covering food, home, travel and more.

We also have global content acquisition and distribution capabilities through our Screen Media division and production capabilities for a variety of original long- and short-form scripted and unscripted content through our Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group with multiple studios. In addition, we have one of the largest independent film and TV series libraries to feed our streaming services.

MPN: How does Chicken Soup compete against the major streaming services and what services do you see as your major competitors?

Rouhana: Anywhere that consumers go to watch great content can be viewed as a competitor in the streaming business. However, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is primarily focused on providing value-conscious consumers original and exclusive content that they can’t find elsewhere. Recently, our Screen Media team secured a deal with BBC for “Sherlock” and 2,500 additional hours of content exclusively on our Crackle Plus streaming services.

We view our major competitors in the AVOD space as services owned by Fox, Paramount and Amazon.

All this comes back to compelling content (and original content at that). People don’t think they’re going to get great original content on a free streaming service, so we’re something new for them.

MPN: How long do you think this explosion of ad-supported streaming content will last?

Rouhana: There are several industry themes that that we believe will only continue going forward:

  • The rate at which consumers have shifted to AVOD — while that was accelerated by COVID — has continued as many more consumers are aware of quality free streaming options, like ours.
  • There is great, award-winning content available on streaming services, including ours.
  • The rise of AVOD across the streaming industry is driving media to increase spending on AVOD. Not only do we have a four-year head start on newer network owners, we also are free from legacy thinking — for us it’s not a strategy to compensate for cord-cutting; it’s a growth business.

 

MPN: Crackle Plus had a big hit in 2019 with original series ‘Going From Broke,’ the Ashton Kutcher-produced series about helping young adults get out of debt, which generated more than 5 million views in its first 10 days, prompting a sequel. How important is exclusive content to your business?

Rouhana: Our original and exclusive (O&E) content is a priority and a key differentiator. We have made a lot of progress over the past year, as our O&E as a percentage of total streaming hours is now up to 27% as of Q1. We want to continue to move that number up over time and believe it’s a good indicator of our differentiated programming strategy.

The key driver of this viewership is the quality of the O&E programming. We are putting compelling and high-quality content on our streaming services as we have had an impressive number of hit TV shows and movies recently, including but not limited to “Going From Broke.”

Importantly for the business and our investors, we have a good track record of acquiring and producing content economically by using co-production deals and partnerships.

Beyond new releases, we’re also significantly growing our IP library rights, which drives higher margins over time, in part due to the absence of royalties. We also typically see higher CPMs on our original content than licensed content.

We have a really exciting pipeline with new content rolling out at a higher rate than ever.

MPN: What prompted the Redbox acquisition, and what kind of integration are you looking at? Who will direct its digital services?

Rouhana: The combination of Redbox and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a perfect fit — one that allows us to build a full streaming solution faster than either of us would have been able to do individually. Rather than Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment having to build our own TVOD, PVOD and FAST platforms, and Redbox having to build their own AVOD, we can utilize the products we’ve each developed to improve our offerings. This will save both companies valuable time and money as we build out a full streaming solution.

MPN: What will be the fate of the Redbox kiosks?

Rouhana: Those beloved Redbox kiosks are not going anywhere. They serve as a convenient and valuable source of entertainment for value-conscious consumers, providing the company with an important source of cash flow and customer engagement. The Redbox kiosks also represent a new distribution opportunity for our original films, further supporting acquisition synergies. As viewers return to theaters, the increase in new movie releases will also benefit the kiosks.

MPN: You’ve made some other acquisitions and licensing deals recently, such as the BBC Studios and Kin licensing deals and the 1091 Pictures acquisition. What’s the company’s driving strategy in making such deals?

Rouhana: A key initiative for us is building our film and television library by obtaining content economically and through our production and acquisition capabilities. Key drivers of this strategy include:

  • Using co-production deals and partnerships to produce cost-effective original content;
  • Increasing IP library rights ownership to drive higher margins over time;
  • Increasing CPMs on our original content rather than on our licensed content; and
  • Supporting our original and exclusive content strategy to enhance margins over time.

 

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MPN: Tell us a little about your own history and your history with the company.

Rouhana: Since acquiring the company in 2008, we have created our Entertainment division and become an innovative leader in the AVOD space, assembling a large film and TV rights library and building viewership of our streaming services, including Crackle, Popcornflix and the recently launched namesake Chicken Soup for the Soul. Prior to Chicken Soup for the Soul, I began my career as an entertainment and finance lawyer, after which I founded a merchant bank as an entertainment financier and founded Winstar Communications — a wireless broadband pioneer.

My experience provides the company with a long-term perspective on media trends, and the importance of streaming to the future. We hope to help the industry realize the opportunity to serve consumers by building the best AVOD streaming services. 

Crackle Plus Launching Five FAST Channels on TCL Channel

Crackle Plus — a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company and an operator of advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) streaming services — has inked an agreement to launch five FAST channels on the TCL Channel free streaming platform in the United States.

Crackle Plus FAST channels include Crackle, Crackle Classics, its newly launched Chicken Soup for the Soul FAST channel, action-fueled network Popcornflix and Truli, its faith and family streaming service.

TCL’s viewers will gain access to the Crackle Plus library with original and exclusive programming from Crackle, including the series “Taboo” and the feature film The Mercy; Crackle Classics’ film and TV series such as the “Laurel and Hardy” and “Little Rascals” libraries; adventure and action-packed shows from Popcornflix, such as the feature Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956) and the two-part limited series “Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island”; an extensive collection of female-led shows from Chicken Soup for the Soul, including “Smart Home Nation” and “Mothers and Daughters”; and family-friendly and faith-based content from Truli, such as the critically acclaimed Bible series “The Chosen.” 

“We’re thrilled to bring our constantly evolving library of content to TCL viewers since across all five of these different services; there is sure to be something to satisfy everyone,” president of Crackle Plus Philippe Guelton said in a statement. “Enlarging our distribution with TCL also reflects our determination to provide consumers with the best free entertainment with the support of our advertising partners who will be exposed to a completely fresh audience.” 

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“Crackle is a respected brand in the streaming entertainment industry, and we are thrilled to be adding their five channels to TCL’s robust lineup,” Rebecca Wan of FFalcon, responsible for the global operation of TCL Smart Screens, said in a statement. “TCL is committed to the free streaming space, and we continue to provide value to our audience by partnering with stellar brands like Crackle to deliver our customers top-shelf free content.” 

Crackle Plus’ recent releases include the exclusive scripted series “Les Norton,” which stars Alexander Bertram and Rebel Wilson; the suspense thriller Blast; “Inside the Black Box,” hosted by Joe Morton; the thriller series “In the Vault”; and the award-winning BBC series “Sherlock,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Crackle Plus also recently announced season three of the series “Going From Broke.”

1091 Pictures Acquires Doc ‘Mind Traveler’

1091 Pictures, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, has acquired worldwide rights to Greg Mallozzi’s documentary Mind Traveler.

The documentary, which will be coming to digital platforms in spring 2023, explores the idea that some of the premises of government experiments similar to those in Netflix’s “Stranger Things” are real.

The documentary focuses on parapsychologist Andrija Puharich. After learning about the CIA’s interest in psychic phenomena, Puharich creates a study to prove his theory that children can be the greatest psychics in the world. He seeks out like-minded kids from around the world, near-death and UFO experiencers and channelers. Quickly the teens prove their psychic potential traversing space and time. Their every move is studied at a secretive lab whose very walls amplify their natural psychic powers, turning them into superhuman spies. 

Mind Traveler features exclusive first-time interviews with the study participants and access to Puharich’s archive, which includes home movies, recordings of remote viewing sessions, personal photographs and hand-written journal entries. 

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“This is a story I’ve been researching and trying to bring to life for over a decade,” director Greg Mallozzi said in a statement. “I’ve always believed Puharich to be one of the most fascinating yet relatively unknown figures of the 20th century. I’m excited for the world to finally learn about him and his story. I could not be more thrilled that 1091 Pictures took the leap to join me on finishing this journey.” 

After the success of The Phenomenon, 1091 Pictures put a premium on UFO and supernatural documentaries, according to the studio. In May 2020, the company launched Unidentified, a linear streaming channel that features programming on paranormal and alien-related themes.

AVOD Service Crackle Plus Announces June Lineup

Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company and operator of advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) streaming services, announced content planned for June.

New Crackle AVOD Exclusives in June include:

  • “A Life In 10 Pictures #1 — Freddy Mercury,” in which Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, one of the most iconic bands in rock and roll history, reveals his life in ten pictures, from iconic shots to private snaps;
  • “In the Vault — Season One,” in which freshman Liv Steele (Claudia Lee) arrives at Woodlawn College excited for a fresh start, but will her past catch up with her?; and
  • “Hollywood Bulldogs: The Rise and Falls of the Great British Stuntman,” which tells the story of the small community of British stunt performers who went on to dominate Hollywood in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

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In addition to access to four seasons of “Sherlock,” Crackle Plus is offering new series from the BBC library every month. This month’s lineup includes:

  • “Ivanhoe,” a miniseries in which young Saxon knight returns to England from fighting in the Crusades to find he had been disinherited by his father, his childhood sweetheart has been betrothed to another man and the country is in the midst of an uprising;
  • “Jane Eyre,” a TV series about a young governess who falls in love with her brooding and complex master; and
  • Byron, a feature film about the famous poet starring Jonny Lee Miller.

 

New channels coming to Crackle in June include:

  • Celebrating Pride, including Wedding Wars (John Stamos, Eric Dane), Breakfast on Pluto (Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson), the Crackle original reality series “Men of West Hollywood” (Justin Jedlica, Brennen Taylor) and Two Mothers for Zachary (Valerie Bertinelli, Vanessa Redgrave);
  • Prehistoric Beasts, featuring “Dinotopia” (Katie Carr, Wentworth Miller), The Lost World (Bob Hoskins, Peter Falk), Behemoth (Ed Quinn, Pascale Hutton) and Godzilla vs Destoroyah (Megumi Odaka, Yōko Ishino);
  • Ways of the West, featuring Western titles like “Bonanza” (Michael Landon, Dan Blocker), The Shadow Riders (Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck), “The Outcasts” (Otis Young, Don Murray) and The Man from Laramie (James Stewart, Cathy O’Donnell);
  • Crimes and Capers, featuring Law Abiding Citizen (Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx), Killing Them Softly (Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini), American Animals (Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan) and Midnight Express (Brad Davis, John Hurt); and
  • The Sixties, featuring “The Flying Nun” (Sally Field, Alejandro Rey), To Sir, with Love (Sidney Poitier, Lulu), Under the Yum-Yum Tree (Jack Lemmon, Carol Lynley) and Bye Bye Birdie (Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret).

 

New to Crackle Spotlight in June are Harry Styles: Live in Manchester, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Peggy Sue Got Married, Edge of Tomorrow, Scream 4, the Canadian sketch comedy series “The Kids in the Hall,” the TV series “Hardcastle and McCormick,” Hannibal Rising, Judy (Renee Zellweger), Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Man from Laramie and Behind the Moment.

The Crackle Plus streaming services are currently distributed through 70 touch points in the United States on platforms including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and Xbox One), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com, with previously announced plans to expand to over 90 touch points.

Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD Streaming App Added to Vizio Service

The Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD streaming service application has been added to the Vizio service, Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, announced.

The streaming service will offer three thousand hours of at launch, including exclusive programming from Chicken Soup for the Soul original series such as “Smart Home Nation.”

“Vizio is pleased to launch the Chicken Soup for the Soul app and offer our audience titles from such a beloved brand,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio, said in a statement. “Bringing the feel-good content that Chicken Soup for the Soul is known for to Vizio audiences is another way that we can deliver on our promise to offer entertainment that viewers know and love.”

“We are excited to bring the Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD service to millions of Vizio viewers,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “We plan to provide a unique blend of entertainment from content and distribution partners who share our vision.”

The Chicken Soup for the Soul streaming service will provide entertainment stories that range from mysteries to miracles, comedy to true crime, the royal family to romcoms in the form of lifestyle programming, original scripted movies, Hollywood blockbusters and classic TV series, according to a Crackle Plus release.

Also now available on Chicken Soup for the Soul is programming from Kin, which has celebrity-driven lifestyle programming. It includes 18 exclusive episodes of “Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix,” and 12 episodes of “All Things Adrienne” (Adrienne Houghton) as well as other series with more fresh content arriving in the coming months.

Chicken Soup for the Soul originals and AVOD exclusives available at launch include:

  • “Smart Home Nation” (original), produced by Efran Films in association with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Parkside Entertainment, and hosted by Tanya Memme, explores smart houses on planet Earth. From ‘A’-list mansions with security systems that can recognize your face from down the block to heated backyards that allow you to swim outside while it’s snowing, the series highlights experimental tech havens that would look right at home in “The Jetsons.”
  • Senior Moment (exclusive), a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Giorgio Serafini and starring William Shatner, Jean Smart and Christopher Lloyd. The film follows Victor Martin (Shatner), a retired NASA test pilot, after he loses his license from drag racing his vintage convertible around Palm Springs. Forced to take public transportation, he meets Caroline (Smart) and learns to navigate love and life again.
  • “Vacation Rental Potential” (original) follows designer and real estate expert Holly Baker as she explores beautiful vacation rental properties across the United States, helping clients maximize their earning potential.
  • Off the Rails (exclusive) is Kelly Preston’s final film, with Jenny Seagrove, Sally Philipps, Andrea Corr and Judi Dench about a group of 50-something women on a European vacation who have a change of itinerary when a teenager (Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips) joins their plans.
  • Hope Gap (exclusive), starring Annette Benning, Bill Nighy, and Josh O’Connor, follows two parents’ visit with their son that takes a dramatic turn when dad reveals he’s leaving his wife.
  • Thanks for the Memories (exclusive), a romantic comedy two-part limited series with Tamzin Merchant, Tom Wlaschiha, and Bekka Bowling, tells the tale of a woman (Merchant) who, after receiving a blood transfusion, finds she now has memories that aren’t her own.

 

“For years Chicken Soup for the Soul has been the go-to destination for those looking to find comfort, enlightenment, humor and inspiration,” Amy Newmark, author, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul self-help book series, said in a statement. “With our new AVOD streaming service we are thrilled to now have a home for the exciting video content that we have been creating for years. We look forward to producing new series that will help us better serve our audience and change the world one story at a time.”

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The VOD app launch on Vizio follows Chicken Soup for the Soul’s recent FAST channel launches on Vizio’s free streaming service, WatchFree+, as well as Plex, FreeCast, Redbox, LG Channels, Stirr and Xumo.

Crackle Plus streaming services are currently distributed through 60 touch points in the United States, including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and XBoxOne), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices, and on desktops at Crackle.com. Crackle is also available in approximately 500,000 hotel rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy chain.