- Daily Zen
MTV’s Mina Lefevre, EVP and head of scripted development, is leaving the network to develop TV shows for Facebook Inc. The hire will let the social network beef up on Facebook TV shows that could pit against Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube.
At Menlo Park, California-based Facebook, Inc., Lefevre will help lead efforts in original video content. She’ll report directly to Ricky Van Veen, Facebook’s head of global creative strategy.
In a public post on February 8, Mina Leferve confirmed her move. “I have always been drawn to the idea of building something and the idea of being part of the team that helps build Facebook’s original content ecosystem…well, that just seems like a dream!” she wrote on Facebook. (You can read the rest of the note below).
Facebook Inc., which has long relied on online advertising, is now planning to license shows. It has hired executives to set up its team and strategy to lead the efforts. The social network has also been talking to talent agents, production companies, and filmmakers about producing original video content for Facebook TV shows.
The efforts include discussions for scripted shows, game shows, and sports, led by Van Veen, the College Humor co-founder who joined the company earlier this year. Facebook has also struck deals with celebrities and various publishers, including Vox Media, to produce Live Video exclusively for the company.
Some of Facebook’s livestreaming deals are worth $1 million a year. Insiders claim Facebook is more interested in going the unconventional route rather than making big-ticket investments in original shows and movies, unlike Netflix and Amazon.
The company has also borrowed some of Snapchat’s features in hopes of getting more users to share videos. It has also imitated some of Periscope’s and Meerkat’s features for its own livestreaming feature.
Mina Lefevre is the first major hire for Van Veen’s team. Prior to joining MTV, where she ran scripted shows from 2013-2015, Lefevre was with ABC family for 12 years. She oversaw creative and production aspects of scripted original series, including Melissa & Joey, Pretty Little Liars, Jane by Design and other shows. As SVP of scripted programming for VH1, she worked on shows including Teen Wolf, The Shannara Chronicles, Finding Carter and Faking it.
Facebook will have enough rivals in the TV shows space. Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc., which is set to go public, has similar TV-style lofty ambitions.