After a short period of dormancy, Verizon’s go90 has announced the renewal of the sports-broadcasting comedy “Now We’re Talking,” from LeBron James’ Uninterrupted and Warner Bros. Television Group’s Blue Ribbon Content. In addition to the renewal, the streaming service has scaled up from shortform to the traditional half-hour episode length of 22 minutes for each of the eight episodes ordered for season two.
The new season, which is expected to premiere in 2018, will continue the rivalry between the two former professional quarterbacks played by Tommy Dewey (“Casual”) and Tug Coker (“The Office”). Coker and Dewey will also serve as executive producers on season two, along with Maverick Carter, Jason Berger and Amy Laslett. Laura Murphy (“Adam Ruins Everything”) will direct the series.
Guest stars for season two will include: Michael Mosley (“Ozark”), Kyle Bornheimer (“Casual”), Cynthy Wu (upcoming “The Happytime Murders”), Bonnie Somerville (“Code Black”), Adam Lustick (“Adam Ruins Everything”), Kellee Stewart (“Hot Tub Time Machine”) and Ryan Michelle Bathe (“This Is Us”).
The renewal comes at a time when Verizon is said to be rethinking its original content strategy for go90, according to multiple content partners who spoke with Digiday. Extending the runtime of its content is most likely part of that change. Streaming platforms that have relied heavily on short-form programming have yet to see any real success. For example, in August, NBCUniversal’s streaming comedy site Seeso closed it’s doors after an unsuccessful run; in September, Comcast’s streaming video platform Watchable announced it would cut back on funding original series; and in November, OtterMedia announced plans to shut down the streaming arm of Fullscreen Media.
“The only company who is buying [short form] in bulk right now is Facebook,” an executive at a digital studio that has content deals with Facebook and Go90 told the publication.
Verizon isn’t the only one who is placing more focus on longer content. Today, mitú, the latino-focused digital network, announced the creation of a long-form development, production and talent team that will be led by David Ortiz.