ABC is joining its broadcast rivals in bringing original programming to the streaming space, developing content for its WatchABC app with an eye toward a broader streaming initiative, Variety reports.
The move follows similar initiatives by major broadcasters such as CBS All Access and NBCUniversal’s Seeso.
To get things rolling, ABC is reportedly developing a short-form scripted comedy starring Iliza Shlesinger, a rising stand-up comedian.
“The network is also said to be using the initiative as an alternative breeding ground for productions or talent that could eventually graduate to prime time,” Variety reports. “The slate won’t be confined to scripted comedies and ABC is also considering long-form series.”
The effort has been dubbed “ABC3” internally, the story reports, noting that it is expected to launch in 2016 under a different name. Talent deals are reportedly already being made.
ABC reportedly declined to comment on the effort.
“How exactly Disney-ABC TV Group will utilize the originals on WatchABC is still being debated, say insiders. Series could be reserved just for pay-TV subs or made freely available; it’s also possible to see a blended strategy in which new episodes are free but previous ones require authentication,” Variety notes.