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Viacom Unveils Studio Model


Viacom has revealed plans to license and produce for third parties new episodes of content from across its portfolio of brands, beginning with the launch of MTV Studios.

MTV Studios will develop new series and reboot iconic brands for third-party SVOD and linear outlets, tapping into its library of more than 200 titles. The initial slate includes Daria & Jodie, a reimagination of Daria with writer Grace Edwards; a live-action Aeon Flux from Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis; a revived The Real World with Bunim/Murray Productions; and a brand-new take on the life-makeover series Made. MTV Studios is also working on new titles: The Valley, a coming-of-age docuseries which it says is in the spirit of The Hills, and MTV’s Straight Up Ghosted, following young people trying to reconnect with lost friends, lovers and family members.

Similar efforts will follow at other Viacom networks. “Viacom is uniquely positioned to do this,” the company said in a blog post. “The company’s voluminous original content libraries house an enormous number of beloved properties that speak deeply to their fans. Its archives stretch back decades—and, in the case of Paramount Pictures, more than a century. Its properties resonate deeply with high-value audiences: kids (Nickelodeon), African-Americans (BET), youth (MTV), the LGBTQ community (Logo), and more. Viacom’s global footprint means that those audiences stretch across cultures and borders. As the first port-of-call for creatives pitching shows tailor-made for these audiences, Viacom’s brands are keenly aware of what is in the market. Its production expertise is second to none. The possibilities for third-party licensing and production are practically limitless.”

That work has begun at Paramount, with the Jack Ryan series from Paramount Television premiering on Amazon this August. And earlier this year, Viacom International Studios (VIS) combined Telefe’s production capabilities with Viacom’s Brazilian comedy brand Porta dos Fundos and its Miami operations to develop original content for platforms around the world.

“These licensing deals will therefore sprinkle tastes of Nickelodeon and MTV and Telefe and other Viacom properties throughout the global content ecosystem, while segmenting the full brand experience for consumers who subscribe to a Viacom linear or digital distributor.”

 “Building on the success of Paramount Television and Telefe’s quickly growing production business, we’re going to much more aggressively tap into the huge demand for content and unlock more of our IP and production and creative capabilities to drive incremental revenues from third-party platforms,” Bob Bakish, president and CEO, said on Viacom’s Q2 earnings call in April. “This isn’t just an idea. … there is a lot of interest from SVOD partners in licensing library properties from MTV and Nickelodeon IP for brand-new interpretations. At the same time, we’re also developing new IP for the sector and have already closed deals for brand-new original Nick IP and animation with third parties and we see more in the pipeline.”

About Mansha Daswani

Mansha Daswani is the editor and associate publisher of World Screen. She can be reached on


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