NBC News is planning to get back into the documentary business with NBC News Studios after closing down its Peacocks Production non-fiction unit.
The new venture will produce premium documentaries, docu-series, select scripted programming, and content for emerging platforms. Led by Liz Cole as president, the new division has already partnered with Focus Features and Blumhouse Television.
“We will pitch a lot of places, and maybe we will even have a documentary you can see in the theater at some point,” says Cole, who is also executive producer at NBC News’ venerable “Dateline,” in an interview.
NBC News has long been in the production business. But, now, when streaming-video platforms are winning subscribers in part with high-quality documentary programming, executives saw a need to pivot.
“There is a demand for high-quality content, and the documentary business is certainly more robust than it ever has been,” says Cole. “More and more people are seeking out that content.”
Additionally, the company also plans to produce a limited-run documentary series for Peacock, the soon-to-launch NBCU streaming-video outlet. The new unit will also house NBC News’ partnership with Quibi, the short-form video content hub backed by Jeffrey Katzenberg.
The company plans on providing original daily news programs to the new service.