Golden Globe and Emmy winner Darren Criss has signed on to write, produce and star in Quibi’s upcoming musical comedy series “Royalties,” the company announced Wednesday. The series marks the first musical in development at the platform.
“Royalties” is a satirical take on the often untold story of songwriters behind the world’s biggest hits. The show follows the songwriting duo — Sara and Pierce (played by Criss) — as they navigate the challenges of creating a great song week after week.
Criss, who won a Golden Globe and Emmy for his leading role in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” will write the upcoming series with Nick and Matt Lang, fellow co-founders of the musical theatre company Team Starkid. Executive producers for the Quibi original include Criss, Gail Berman, Hend Baghdady, Joe Earley, Matt Lang, Nick Lang and Ricky Rollins. “Royalties” comes from Fox Entertainment’s recently formed content development unit SideCar.
Headed by Berman, SideCar was launched by Fox Entertainment in February 2019. Described as a “content development accelerator,” the company identifies and incubates content both for the Fox network and third-party platforms. “Royalties” marks the company’s first sale since its formation.
Founded by Jeffery Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, Quibi closed a $1 billion round of funding in August from investors including as 21st Century Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal, Viacom and WarnerMedia. The service, which will focus on producing and distributing short-form content made for mobile, will launch with a two-tier pricing model: a $4.99 per month ad-supported offer and a $7.99 per month ad-free deal. Whitman says the company has already sold $100 million worth of advertisements ahead of its spring 2020 launch.