Snapchat parent co. Snap is working with NBCUniversal on its first scripted series, with an initial effort led by the Duplass Brothers – Mark and Jay, to those in the know. The duo will create scripted programming for Snapchat through Donut, their own creative production venture. It’s maybe a weird choice for Snap and their youthful audience, but it’s a team with a proven track record when it comes to creating scripted originals.
Snap and NBCU have been partners in the past, too, with the broadcaster teaming up with the social network early on with its launch of the unscripted The Voice series tailored for Snapchat audiences. Snapchat had previously discussed building scripted content for its network, with a focus on short-form stuff that makes sense for the platform.
The content will be shot and presented in vertical video format, too, something that Mark Duplass called a “terrifying and thrilling creative challenge” in an emailed statement.
Meanwhile, NBCU and Snap will formalize their partnership with a joint venture, in the form of a new digital content studio based in Santa Monica. The studio will be led by Lauren Anderson, an NBC Entertainment exec who comes on as Chief Content Officer. The venture will be shared equally in terms of equity between Snap and NBCU.
This is the biggest move Snap has made yet in terms of producing and investing in original content. Building its own studio in partnership with NBC puts it more in the driver’s seat, instead of leaning as heavily on partners, though the team-up means it’ll be working with people with more experience in this new realm.