The old expression about how there are no new ideas generally holds true. But every once in a while something comes along that you really haven’t ever heard of before. Like this news story from Variety that Steven Spielberg is writing a new horror series for Quibi, a streaming platform for phones run by Spielberg’s longtime DreamWorks colleague Jeffrey Katzenberg, with an unusual twist: The show will only be available to watch after midnight.

Katzenberg describes the show as “super scary” and says Spielberg himself has written “five or six episodes” under the working title of Spielberg’s After Dark. In this case, that is a wholly appropriate name:

Spielberg had an unusual request however: He wanted viewers to only be able to watch the program after midnight. Given that phones can track where it is at the moment — and keep tabs on when the sun rises and sets in its area — Katzenberg and Whitman challenged their engineers to come up with an idea for how to view the show when it’s spooky out. The result: A clock will appear on phones, ticking down until sun sets in wherever that user is, until it’s completely gone. Then the clock starts ticking again to when the sun comes back up — and the show will disappear until the next night.

That’s one way to bring back appointment viewing: Ensure your viewers are literally unable to screen the show outside a certain window.

Whether this amounts to anything more than a gimmick will have to be determined when we can actually watch the series. But as gimmicks go it’s ... a pretty darn clever one? And it’s certainly not like anything else on television (or mobile phones) at the moment. Quibi will launch in the spring of 2020 with tiered pricing depending on whether or not you want to watch ads before the content.

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