Warner Bros. Announces Name of New Digital Production Unit, Blue Ribbon Content, and Unveils First Development Slate

October 21, 2014

Upcoming Slate Includes a New Untitled Mortal Kombat Series; Content Featuring

DC Comics Characters, Including a Live-Action Version of Static Shock;

Collaborations with Akiva Goldsman, Reginald Hudlin and Bruce Timm; and More

Previously Announced Series Include Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles for

Machinima and Play It Again, Dick, from Rob Thomas, for CW Seed; and a

Virtual Reality Experience Based on Batman: The Animated Series

BURBANK, Calif. — Continuing its commitment to creating new and compelling programming for the digital marketplace, Warner Bros. announced today the name of its newly formed shortform series production unit and also unveiled its first slate of development projects. Blue Ribbon Content is the name of the recently created division, which is charged with developing and producing live-action series for digital platforms, tapping the creative talent already working at the Studio while also identifying opportunities for collaboration with new writers and producers.

All of the Studio’s narrative shortform digital content will now be produced under the Blue Ribbon Content banner, which is headed up by Sam Register, who took oversight of digital development and production efforts upon being named President, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series in April 2014. Register’s team at Blue Ribbon Content also includes Andrew Mellett, Senior Vice President, Distribution and Strategy, who manages the new division’s financial operations, oversees business affairs, and handles all distribution and sponsorship deals. In addition to live-action, Blue Ribbon Content will produce animated programming and is also experimenting with emerging platforms such as virtual reality.

Sam Register said: “We are tremendously excited about Blue Ribbon Content’s initial slate of development projects, and we are incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a talented group of writers and producers on projects that they feel exceptionally passionate about. We look forward to delivering compelling and memorable programming for our fans and distribution partners.”

Blue Ribbon Content’s first development slate includes a number of original program concepts as well as new shows from Warner Bros. Entertainment’s wide-ranging collection of intellectual property. Projects include shows from or supervised by creative talents such as Akiva Goldsman (Paranormal Activity), Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained, House Party movies), Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) and Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars); a new Mortal Kombat series; multiple projects featuring DC Comics characters, including a live-action version of Static Shock; a virtual reality experience based on the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series; and more.

SERIES ORDERS

  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles (Machinima) This animated shortform series from Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett (producers of the legendary Batman: The Animated Series) will debut on Machinima in 2015. The series is based on Justice League: Gods & Monsters, an original animated film executive produced by Timm and co-produced by Burnett that will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment later in 2015. Chronicles explores a newly conceived reality in the DC Universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the Super Heroes that people think they know.
  • Untitled Mortal Kombat Series (distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) The next generation of Mortal Kombat is coming! In association with the upcoming Mortal Kombat X video game releasing April 14, 2015, Blue Ribbon Content and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are teaming up on an all-new series that showcases some of the franchise’s most storied characters, while introducing a new generation of fighters.
  • Play It Again, Dick (CW Seed) The first project to have debuted under the Blue Ribbon Content banner is Play It Again, Dick, co-written and executive produced by Veronica Mars creator/executive producer Rob Thomas for CW Seed, the digital-only studio of The CW Television Network. Play It Again, Dick stars Ryan Hansen as himself as he begs, cajoles and pleads with his former Veronica Mars castmates (some of whom make guest appearances) and friends to help him get his character, Dick Casablancas, his own spinoff show.

In addition to those series orders, Blue Ribbon Content’s programs in development include:

LIVE-ACTION DEVELOPMENT: COMEDY

  • RejecTED We’ve all witnessed countless inspiring words of wisdom from world-renowned speakers on technology, entertainment and design. But not everyone can get on that stage, due to an ultra-competitive selection process that leaves many behind. Check out some of the lesser-known and just completely rejected speeches that the world never got to hear — until now — in this original satirical comedy from Rachel Ramras, Larry Dorf and Hugh Davidson (all of Mike Tyson Mysteries).
  • Ginger Snaps The world of scouting has never been so competitive … or ruthless. Follow a troop of young girls as they backstab, manipulate and sabotage their way through the seedy underworld of the Ginger Snaps and preserve their power and influence at the top of the cookie pile in this original comedy from writer Sonali Patel. Ginger Snaps emerged from the Warner Bros. Television Workshop’s Fresh Ink initiative, which is dedicated to seeking out new and diverse voices from within the creative community, with the goal of developing comedy and drama ideas from women and ethnic minority writers into viable scripts for presentation to the marketplace. Patel is currently a staff writer on the new Warner Bros. Television comedy A to Z for NBC.
  • Golden Revenge Two adorable house pets — a cat and dog — love their life with their owner. His new wife? Not so much. After receiving an “it’s me or the pets” ultimatum, the husband takes the cat and dog deep into the forest and leaves them behind in this original comedy. Now it’s up to the pets to find their way across the country and back to their beloved owner — in order to exact their revenge! Golden Revenge is from Tom Stern and Josh Gardner (Saul of the Mole Men, Gerhard Reinke's Wanderlust), and produced by Conaco.

LIVE-ACTION DEVELOPMENT: ACTION/SCI-FI

  • Ouroboros Original horror/thriller from Weed Road Pictures, producer Akiva Goldsman (executive producer of the Paranormal Activity franchise) and writer/director/producer Damon Santostefano follows two police officers over the course of one night in a remote part of Wisconsin as they are overwhelmed by a series of mysterious attacks … and an epidemic of possession.
  • Static Shock Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin (Best Picture Oscar® nominee for producing Django Unchained, writer/director of House Party, executive producer/director of acclaimed TV series The Bernie Mac Show) leads the creative team behind a live-action adaptation of Static Shock, featuring the African-American super hero Static, aka Virgil Ovid Hawkins. Static Shock is based on the Static comic co-created by the late Dwayne McDuffie with co-writer Robert L. Washington III and artist John Paul Leon, which was originally published by the DC Comics imprint Milestone Comics and, later, by DC Comics. Milestone Media co-founder/comic book artist/TV producer Denys Cowan (the original Static Shock animated series) is collaborating with Hudlin on the new Static Shock. The aforementioned animated version of Static Shock previously aired for four seasons during the Saturday morning Kids’ WB! programming block on The WB Network from 2000–2004.
  • Critters Blue Ribbon revisits the world of the legendary New Line Cinema cult classic movie franchise, as a new batch of alien pests descends upon the planet in this new digital series written by Michael Jelenic & Aaron Horvath (Teen Titans Go!).

VIRTUAL REALITY

  • Batman: The Animated Series Experience — As previously announced, Blue Ribbon, DC Entertainment and visual effects pioneer OTOY are teaming up on an immersive entertainment experience that will see the Batcave from the acclaimed Emmy® Award–winning Batman: The Animated Series brought to life via interactive holographic video for virtual reality displays. OTOY is collaborating with series producer Bruce Timm on this interactive narrative experience which will give fans the opportunity to explore Batman’s world like never before, allowing them to feel what it is like to be inside the show’s stylized universe on devices such as the Samsung GALAXY Gear VR, the Oculus Rift, and on forthcoming “glasses-free” light field displays that will power future TV and mobile devices.

Additional Blue Ribbon Content development projects will be announced in the coming months.