BBC Studios snags first commission from Quibi

Short-form digital platform Quibi has ordered a blue chip factual series from the producers behind Blue Planet 2 and Dynasties that explores female species in the natural world.

Fierce Queens (working title) is being produced by BBC Studio’s Natural History Unit, the famed factual division that has also been behind the Planet Earth and Frozen Planet franchises.

The series will explore the lives of animals and insects including hyenas, fireflies, meerkats and humpback whales from a female perspective, with Jo Shinner of the NHU executive producing.

Shinner said: “We are delighted to have won our first Quibi commission and be part of this innovative and unique broadcasting initiative. We can’t wait to reveal the astonishing behaviour of the powerful Fierce Queens of the natural world.”

Quibi was founded by former Dreamworks exec Jeffrey Katzenberg and has been rapidly expanding its commissions over the past six months, ahead of a planned launch in April 2020.

The service is being designed primarily for mobile users and is headed up by Quibi CEO Meg Whitman. It recently revealed a Liam Hemsworth-starring thriller, which joins a slate that features talent including Idris Elba, Don Cheadle, Tyra Banks and Jennifer Lopez.

Quibi is set to launch on 6 April in North America, ahead of a global roll out, with two tiers of pricing: $4.99 with short ads, and a commercials free offering at $7.99. The startup will spend around $1 billion on content in its first year, and another $470 million in marketing and promotion. Backers include Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, Lionsgate, the UK’s ITV, Liberty Global and China’s Alibaba.