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Image credit: Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Report: Facebook to pay Hollywood millions for original shows

It's apparently offering up to $3 million per episode.
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Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Facebook is very serious about its original programming ambitions -- $3 million per episode serious. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the tech giant is courting Hollywood agencies for original scripted TV shows, in some cases offering up to $3 million per episode. It's also keen on procuring less-expensive productions that would cost hundreds of thousands each episode to make. The Journal's sources said that Facebook has set late summer as a tentative launch window, and that it hopes to reach audiences aged 13-34.

In particular, the company is reportedly focusing on those aged between 17 and 30, and is therefore looking for shows like ABC's Pretty Little Liars, Scandal or The Bachelor. We're already expecting about two dozen titles from the social network when it launches its programming lineup, including reality show Last State Standing.

We've yet to hear back from Facebook on this, and the company has kept mum about previous rumors. The Journal's report falls in line with everything we've heard so far on the social network's push into original content, though. Last year, Facebook offered media companies millions of dollars to stream live content on its website.

The focus on high-end content could help Facebook better take on its rivals like Snapchat and, to a lesser extent, Twitter. Snapchat already has a large stable of original content coming from major names in entertainment, including Disney, MTV, MGM, Time Warner and A&E. But Snapchat shows are of a different format -- each episode lasts between 3 and 5 minutes long.

It's not yet clear if Facebook plans to have similarly short clips just yet, but the Journal's report indicates it is considering a variety of runtimes from ten minutes to thirty minutes. If these latest rumors are true, we could be looking at a greater diversity of shows coming to our Facebook feeds very soon.

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