Yahoo's Developing Brand-New Female-Centric Programming & We Can't Wait
Yahoo is jumping on the web series bandwagon (it’s a lucrative wagon, so no judging here) and is in the development phase of its first big-budget project, a comedy series called 34 and Pregnant by Girls, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Awkward writer Lesley Arfin. Based on her resume alone, Arfin’s series already has the potential to become one of our new favorite comedies. What’s more exciting about the deal is that Yahoo’s chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt, who helps push these projects forward, is directly focusing on producing female-centric comedies. Praise be, Yahoo, you have really earned that “!” at the end of your logo.
Yahoo is also working on signing on YouTube personalities and signed a contract with VEVO to release music videos as a means of increasing and diversifying their content. And though the Internet is an endless source of data that’s constantly refreshing and replacing, it is also a place for innovation. The right talent and quality stands out among the billions of web series, blogs, YouTube channels, and everything in between — like Broad City, for example.
The vastness of the Internet also speaks to the vastness of interest… and advertisers. The sort of programming you see on your TV is directly influenced by who is paying for it. And when the web is paying for something, there’s simply a lot more resources (not that Yahoo necessarily needs it, because they’re already massive).
The fact of the matter is, Yahoo can center their creative development with women at the helm because there’s little to stop them. Some of the most successful films and television series of the past five to 10 years have been created by, or star women. But that doesn’t need to justify Yahoo’s much-needed decision. Yahoo is a company that is run by a woman, CEO Marissa Mayer. She also recently signed on Katie Couric as the organization's global anchor. A move which Couric commented as a "step up" from television.
Though 34 and Pregnant is just in the preliminary stages of development and not yet confirmed, it’s proof that the trickle-down effect can be incredibly beneficial. The more women there are in powerful positions, the more women are hired in all aspects of a field, be it creative, tech, medical — everywhere. It’s a simple principle that has momentous results.
With Mayer at the top of the company and Savitt greenlighting, projects created by women don’t necessarily have to prove their worth in the same old tired ways. Writing and development can be judged on creative merit alone, asking the question, “Is this show funny enough?” instead of “Is this show funny enough because it was created by women?”
It will be exciting to see where Yahoo takes their web content because as Netflix has proved with their original programming, there are plenty of female voices out there to be heard... by everyone.