Facebook Is Ready For Its Close-Up, Wants To Get Into Scripted TV Shows

Image courtesy of Steve Snodgrass

Not content to let Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu corner the market on original streaming TV shows, Facebook is reportedly trying to carve out a spot for itself in the entertainment business with its own scripted programming.

According to sources in the know who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, the social media company has indicated in meetings with a few major talent agencies that it’s willing to commit to production budgets as high as $3 million per episode — on par with high-end cable shows — in its attempt to target that highly-prized millennial audience.

Facebook is also interested in cheaper scripted shows as well, and will be “aggressive” about trying to own as much of the content as possible.

No mater what kind of show, Facebook has reportedly told insiders that it wants to avoid shows about kids, young teens, political drama, news, and shows with nudity and rough language.

Thus far, the company has two shows lined up, sources say: Strangers, a drama about relationships, and a game show called Last State Standing.

Like Hulu, Facebook would likely release one episode of a show once a week, instead of dumping them all online at once like Netflix and Amazon have done in the past. In return, movie studios would receive viewing information from Facebook after the shows run.

This sounds similar to earlier reports surrounding Apple’s plans to compete with Spotify by adding original TV shows to Apple Music, wherein the tech company would reportedly be open to sharing ratings and demographic information with studios it partners with. Neftlix, on the other hand, has been known to keep such viewership data close.

Facebook declined to comment on the WSJ’s report.