Topic Announces Slate of All Original Programming on New OTT Service
Topic, the new streaming service from First Look Media, today announced their new slate of original programming, which will premiere beginning this December. Topic, which launched on November 21, 2019, offers original programming that includes a variety of scripted dramas, comedies, discussion shows, documentaries, and non-scripted content which highlight human-focused stories from creators with a passionate point of view.
The new slate of upcoming Topic Originals will feature two new non-scripted discussion shows. The first, hosted by Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite) and titled What’s Your Ailment?!, features Maria speaking to fellow performers, such as Tom Arnold and Rachel Bloom, willing to open up about their mental health struggles in a judgement-free environment. Aimed at destigmatizing mental health issues, the series will premiere December 26.
Maria Bamford said, “Mental health care can sometimes be really shitty. My new show on Topic, “What’s Your Ailment?!” is one of the cheapest, crappiest substitutes for actual help that you can buy!”
The second discussion show, Rough Draft with Reza Aslan, is hosted by Aslan, the Emmy-nominated best-selling author and television personality. The eight-episode series, premiering December 5th, will focus on in-depth conversations with celebrated writers, such as Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight; Marvel’s Jessica Jones), Steven Canals (Pose), Ramy Youssef (Ramy) and activist/rapper Vic Mensa. The show on Topic will be a refreshed, new version of Rough Draft, which aired previously on Ovation.
Reza Aslan said, “I couldn’t be more excited to bring Rough Draft to Topic streaming. There’s no better home for this kind of smart, sophisticated, and entertaining programming.”
Additionally, there are two new scripted series, Down from London, a new comedy series in partnership with Mermade, sister company to Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman, premiering on the service December 19th. The original series, filmed on location around England and in Paris, follows a couple who are trying to understand their relationship after a failed marriage proposal.
Joshua Buckingham, MD Mermade said, “Down from London is a painfully relatable comedy. Capturing the hilarious tension of trying to show the best of your relationship whilst also trying to resolve the worst of it. Jim, Liz and Graham’s improvised style needed a platform open to creative risk, Topic have been that and so much more.”
In addition, the New Orleans inspired suspense anthology Soul City, a new scripted drama series, will premiere early next year. The series exposes the multicultural world of a select American city and its black population through the lens of psychological horror stories. Season One is set in New Orleans and helmed by creators and directing duo Coodie and Chike (ESPN 30 for 30’s Benji) produced in collaboration with Jess Jacobs and Audrey Rosenberg of Invisible Pictures (Bull).
Directors Coodie and Chike said, “Horror is a great genre to mask deep rooted psychological issues in a light-hearted and entertaining way and New Orleans was a fitting backdrop given the city’s complex history. We’re excited for Topic audiences to explore Soul City.”
“We are thrilled with the early response to the service,” said Ryan Chanatry, General Manager of Topic. “Now is the perfect time to introduce four very different Topic Originals, that exemplify the depth of programming our service offers. From discussion, to comedy to scripted, we’re offering a variety of entertainment options, all hand-selected with our audience in mind.”
Topic has an ambitious slate of projects already in the works for 2020, to be announced soon.