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Quibi Showcases Programs, Talent Roster at Sundance

Fern Siegel

To add weight to its debut, Quibi unveiled some of its upcoming content at Sundance today.

The mobile streamer showcased its short-form works and its talent, such as director Veena Sud’s “The Stranger,” Lena Waithe, executive producer of “You Ain’t Got These,” and Kaitlin Olson (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), who stars in the comedy “Flipped.”

Cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg said Quibi’s attendance clicks with Sundance’s 2020 theme: imagine futures, reports Deadline.

Quibi will debut on April 6 with 175 original shows, as well as 8,500 quick bites of content, from seven to 10 minutes each. Programming runs the gamut from comedy to news, dramas to reality shows. Some 35 of those shows will be movies in chapters.

The film “You Ain’t Got These” examines sneaker culture, while “The Stranger” is a thriller that involves a ride-share driver and the psychopath stalking her. As episodes dropped hourly, the psychopath’s text tone hits your phone.

“Flipped” follows a clueless couple who think they’re TV’s next great home-renovation experts — until they are kidnapped and forced to prove their worth. Olson also praised the creative freedom Quibi, geared to the 18-44 demo, provides.

Katzenberg says the service is “quite different from TV,” since it’s meant to be viewed by users on the go. He claims inspiration from Dan Brown’s novel “The DaVinci Code,” which offered chapters four or five pages in length.

Quibi recently secured $400 million in second-round funding, in addition to the $1 billion already raised. But what separates the streamer from its rivals is its business model.

At a Sundance panel, Katzenberg noted: “We’re a licensor, relaying every single piece of content that is being made by a third party under a license deal for us. We get the best people and brands in the world, give them an economic upside reward for their content — let them own and profit. Our job is to build a successful platform.”

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