Making headlines in the early days of NewFront week, Yahoo announced it’s signed Simon Cowell to create Ultimate DJ, an American Idol-style show for the button-pushing, knob-turners of EDM. “Electronic music is one of the most important genres around the world and we want to respect what’s happening around the world,” said Cowell on stage at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center.
That was just one of 18 new series Yahoo announced across its Live, Digital Magazines and Original video programming. These include The Pursuit, a scripted original long-form series described as “an edgier, 21st-century take on Friends in the era of social media” from former Saturday Night Live director Beth McCarthy-Miller and Ted producer Scott Stuber. New programs from Yahoo’s Digital Magazines include style series I Am Naomi, starring executive producer Naomi Campbell, auto series Riding Shotgun with Michelle Rodriguez driving fast cars, as well as cooking show adapted from the blog/book Thug Kitchen. Yahoo also announced a daily news show with Katie Couric, Yahoo News Live, and a live weekly show, called Everybody’s Business, on finance.
Elsewhere at the NewFronts:
Bloomberg unveiled Responsive.TV, a new platform, created with Stinkdigital, that promises to give viewers more flexibility in how they watch its video content (read: shorter, quicker). It also announced four new web shows spanning international news bits on the Morning Brief, stocks with The Market Close, emerging business profiles on The Spark, and how luxury goods are made in Handmade.
The New York Times showcased a virtual reality partnership with Chris Milk’s VR studio Vrse.works, as well as a collection of new web series. All in the Family, family business profiles, Trials of Spring, about six women who played central roles in the Arab Spring, The Graduates: Detroit Class of 2014, following graduates from a Detroit public high school, and Andrew Ross Sorkin’s new video series, DealBook Explains.
Presentations still to come this week include YouTube, Hulu, Vice, AOL, and more.