While Viacom remains ensnarled in the crosshairs of a power play between corporate parent National Amusements and CBS, the media giant has quietly ramped up original content creation and licensing.
Last month, the corporate shell to Paramount Pictures, MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Nickelodeon, among others, inked license agreements with Hulu, while reportedly signing up to create programming for Netflix.
Much of the latter through the recent launch of MTV Studios, which pledges to develop and produce a full slate of original programming with a focus on series, franchises and spin-offs that span MTV’s 35-year history.
With over 200 titles, MTV Studios has one of the largest libraries of young adult series and franchises. The initial production slate includes rebooted editions of animated series “Daria,” with writer Grace Edwards from “Inside Amy Schumer”; sci-fi series, “Aeon Flux” from “Teen Wolf” creator Jeff Davis; reality series, “The Real World”; and an update of the Emmy Award-winning coming of age unscripted series, “Made.”
The slate will include two new titles: “The Valley” (working title), a coming of age docuseries that follows a group of young friends growing up in the town of Nogales, Arizona, a city split in half, with one side in the United States and the other in Mexico.
Also included is “MTV’s Straight Up Ghosted,” which follows young people trying to reconnect with lost friends, lovers and family members and confront them about why they have been ghosted.
“With MTV Studios, we are for the first time ever opening up this vault beyond our own platforms to reimagine the franchises with new partners,” Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, said in a statement.
MTV claims to be the fastest growing network on TV, with viewership in prime time up 21% year-over-year. It generated 2.9 billion streams in 2018 and has amassed more than 350 million social followers globally.