Yahoo producing two comedies, jumping into original TV content

yahoo_logoYahoo announced today that it will be launching a pair of new original comedies next year through its Yahoo Screen video streaming service. Much like other offerings from Yahoo’s competitors, “Other Space” and “Sin City Saints” both come from excellent pedigrees.

“Outer Space” is helmed by Paul Feig, a three-time Emmy nominee who has produced and directed episodes of “The Office,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “Arrested Development,” and focuses on the wholly unqualified crew of a spaceship that discovers an alternate universe. In a continuing pattern of online comedies aiming at the tech industry, “Sin City Saints” will follow the misadventures of Jake Tullus, a “Silicon Valley tycoon” who’s given a shot at owning a fictional Las Vegas basketball team. The show will be directed by two-time Emmy nominee Bryan Gordon, who counts “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Office among his credits.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer speaks at Yahoo's keynote at CES 2014.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer speaks at Yahoo’s keynote at CES 2014.

With this move, Yahoo is jumping into the growing pond of online original video providers. The company will be competing against Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft and others in a rush to try and draw eyeballs away from traditional TV and onto the web.

Comedy programming has worked out so far for Amazon, which kicked off its own original programming initiatives with a pair of comedies. The news comes the same day Microsoft announced its slate of 12 Xbox Originals, which will begin showing in June.

Users will be able to stream the shows through the Yahoo Screen web site and app, as well as Roku devices and the Apple TV. It looks like Amazon’s newly-released Fire TV set-top box may be left out in the cold.

Like Netflix’s original content offerings, Yahoo’s shows will be available for interested users to watch all at once when they come out. However, the company is being careful not to bite off more than it can chew. Each show’s first season will only contain 8 half-hour episodes.