Quibi, the upcoming service from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, will launch on April 6 with dozens of chapter-based movies and TV series. This streamer’s name might sound bizarre but serves as a shortened version of “quick bites,” which is admittedly kind-of clever. Each title consists of episodes/chapters that run 10 minutes or less, all geared towards smartphone bingewatching. Following a 90-day free trial, monthly subscription charges will run $4.99 (with ads) or $7.99 (no ads), and the considerable amount of content available at launch includes a not-insignificant helping of nostalgia.
Yep, along with truckloads of original programming, Quibi’s digging into the revival game, which means that on top of the ridiculous-looking stuff that’s new to everyone, they’re adding fresh spins on tried-and-true titles. So, in addition to original content that includes comedies, thrillers, and action-oriented projects (along with food-and-sports focused titles), these revivals hold promise. Each of them hold varying potential to pull in their previous audiences, and ideally for Quibi, they’ll also draw a new generation of eyeballs.
Quibi has yet to screen these revivals for critics, but from least-to-most likely to succeed, we’ve ranked their excitement-potential anyway.
5. Singled Out
Quibi’s rebooting the 1990s MTV dating game show that launched Chris Hardwick’s career (who ever thought he’d parlay the resulting fame into super-nerd status?) with a new male co-host, Joel Kim Booster. Stepping into the shows of former lady co-hosts Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra will be Keke Palmer, and it remains to be seen how well the show will update itself, though it promises to reflect the modern dating landscape. There will still be one dater, 30 singles, and 3 rounds, but supposedly, the main dater will somehow be linked to the singles pool through social media. It sounds complicated, but so is dating, although I don’t see how this show will be any more of a bingeable train wreck than, say, scrolling through Tinder. Still, Love Is Blind is doing well for Netflix, so maybe folks will dig this revival after all.
4. How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days
Romcoms largely disappeared in theaters years ago due to mid-budget films (most of that money going to big names) becoming too much of a risk for studios. However, Netflix and Hulu have seen recent success with the genre, so it makes sense that Quibi would want to dabble there as well, and the streamer hopes to pounce upon any residual goodwill for the 2013 movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. This time, the story will take TV series form with scripts from Guy Branum (The Mindy Project, Chelsea Lately) and will follow an online columnist and a ladies-man/ad-executive through the same basic set-up as the film. Will the series transcend any of the gender-role assumptions made by the movie? That remains to be seen, although a fresh spin on the formula will be welcome, as will any casting news and a trailer.
Back in the aughts, Ashton Kutcher pulled off some downright cruel pranks on celebrities for MTV (with the vital assistance of then-unknown Dax Shepard). Notable victims included Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Kim Kardashian, but no one can forget the sight of poor Justin Timberlake crying over a fake federal raid on his home. Now, a new generation of punk-ees will find themselves suffering at the hands of Chance The Rapper. Will Chance throw out the same magnetic energy of his predecessor? He sure as hell looks excited in this trailer, which shows off a gorilla-themed trick that scares the pants off Megan Thee Stallion and friends. I’m guessing that this series might ebb and flow, depending on how’s being pranked in each episode, but considering that the original series lasted ten seasons, this revival should have potential longevity as well.
2. Reno 911!
Over a decade after Comedy Central’s six-season run concluded, the mockumentary-style, Cops-esque show about the incompetent deputies of the Reno Sheriff’s Department will return. Co-creators Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Keri Kenney-Silver reprise their roles (thank God), and they’re joined by Wendi McLendon-Covey, Niecy Nash, Cedric Yarbrough, and Carlos Alazraqui. In addition, Ian Roberts, Joe LoTruglio, and Mary Birdsong (who joined the original series late in the game) will also be around for more law-enforcement shenanigans. Formally, the bite-sized Quibi installments will form a seventh season of the series, which will hopefully see as much heavily improvised dialogue as the earlier years. Let’s hope that, along the way, there are very drunk and extremely disorderly antics, plenty of chase scenes, and maybe a few faux-rabid dogs in the mix. From the looks of the trailer, the original feel of the show is still alive and well, and my gut feeling is that nostalgia should run high from the cult hit’s audience, even if the next series has a slight edge.
1. The Fugitive
Jack Bauer vs. Steve Murphy? That feels like a perfect casting recipe for success, so it’s no wonder that the trailer’s scored over 1.1 million views and counting. Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones starred in the successful 1993 remake of the 1960s TV series from Roy Huggins, so there’s little reason to question why Quibi got pumped to revamp the story again for 2020. That’s especially the case since folks will definitely tune in to see 24‘s Kiefer Sutherland pluck up a firearm once more, which is a testament to his longevity, decades after he played 1980s bad boys like no other. Obviously, the trailer shows us that Sutherland plays the lawman in this update, and Boyd Holbrook is back in action mode (after turns in Narcos and Run All Night) as the “fugitive.” Yet to add even more urgency, the title character’s now a bombing suspect. The mainstream appeal of the stars, the updated nature of the crime, and the adrenaline-fueled ingredients of this reboot should make it one of Quibi’s most successful entries of all.
Quibi launches on April 6 with dozens of titles, and more to come.