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New phone-only Quibi aims for bite of digital entertainment

LOS ANGELES — Want to see Chance the Rapper prank Hollywood stars? Catch a new action thriller starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz? How about a six-minute edition of “60 Minutes”? There’s an app for that, and more.

Quibi — a snappy amalgam of “quick” and “bite” — is a mobile phone-only platform that will release its snack-sized installments of movies and TV shows each weekday. There will be seven-day-a-week dollops of news, sports and weather, gathered under the umbrella name Daily Essentials, all adding up to a mind-boggling 175-plus programs planned for this year.

It launches Monday in the U.S. and Canada with a 90-day free trial and 50 programs, all in segments no longer than 10 minutes. They include “Punk’d,” with Chance the Rapper as host and executive producer; the Hemsworth-Waltz movie “Most Dangerous Game,” and “Chrissy’s Court,” with Chrissy Teigen administering justice in small claims cases a la Judge Judy.

Others who have signed on to either produce or appear (or both) in Quibi content include Reese Witherspoon, Joe Jonas, Jennifer Lopez, Lena Waithe and Sophie Turner.

But the biggest names attached to the project are its executives: entertainment industry heavyweight Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman. In the 1980s, Katzenberg revived the Walt Disney Co.’s movie studio and its animation division with hits including “The Little Mermaid,” and in 1994 co-founded DreamWorks SGK with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Quibi is Katzenberg’s brainchild, and he picked Whitman, also a onetime Disney executive, as the new platform’s CEO.

For Katzenberg, it’s the product that will make Quibi a winner.

“In all my years, there is one rule that has never failed, ever,” he said. “Which is, when I had my hands on great content, whether it was an animation and movies, …. whether it was TV shows, a Broadway show, a

Article source: https://www.startribune.com/new-phone-only-quibi-aims-for-bite-of-digital-entertainment/569366772/

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