Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Viacom Digital Studios Readies Facebook Watch Slate, Including Three New Shows for Nickelodeon

Betting on the social network's 2.7-billion user base, Viacom Digital Studios has lined up three new shows from its Nickelodeon kids unit.

Viacom Digital Studios (VDS) is adding to its Facebook Watch slate with big-ticket collaborations between its flagship brands such as Nickelodeon, Awesomeness and Comedy Central with veteran digital influencers like Grace Helbig (pictured above), MatPat, and Joey Graceffa!

With many young viewers among the growing number of cord-nevers and cord-cutters, the company is betting that it can strengthen brand loyalty and build online communities by working with Facebook and other digital and social partners. That’s the formula for keeping Viacom’s “youth” brands relevant to a generation of digital natives.

VDS unveiled the first slate for Facebook Watch at its NewFronts presentation this spring, including Nickelodeon’s Throw Back With Nickelodeon and MTV’s Drag My Dad. The shows are created in via Facebook’s creator incubation program — which acts as a matchmaker of sorts between new media publishers and digital creators — and also mark Viacom’s bid to reimagine its longstanding brands for a new generation of digital-native viewers.

For Nickelodeon, VDS is readying three Nickelodeon series for Facebook Watch. Fact or Nicktion an investigative weekly series where host MatPat (real name: Matthew Patrick; 12 million subscribers) explores the weird mysteries behind classic Nickelodeon shows and theorizes answers that just might ruin your childhood; while in Make My Nick Dreams Come True, Joey Graceffa (9.4 million subscribers) will help participants run the iconic Double Dare obstacle course, get slimed, and realize other Nick-centric fantasies. In Very Bad Crafts, two contestants will battle it out on a crafting project using some of the most unconventional and useless items and materials, to be judged by an as-yet-unnamed DIY influencer.

Fact Or Nicktion will premiere on Monday, September 9, 2019, while the release dates for Make My Nick Dreams Come True and Very Bad Crafts are still forthcoming.

For Comedy Central, VDS is readying two series. In Beast To Beauty, host Grace Helbig (2.8 million subscribers) will help New York’s ugliest pets refine their wardrobes, grooming, diet, and decor. And in Pitch Please, hosted by Instagram star Adam Waheed (1.6 million followers), wannabe entrepreneurs will present their breakthrough business ideas for ridiculous concepts. Beast To Beauty will bow on Saturday, September 21, 2019 while Pitch Please will premiere on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Finally, for Awesomeness, comedy vlogger Rickey Thompson (1.2 million subscribers) will headline Tri Me, in which he will settle real-life disputes between roommates along with crowdsourced help from viewers. A release date for Tri Me has not been announced.

The move comes shortly after Viacom Digital Studios boosted its kids division with two new hires. Former Fullscreen Media exec Ashley Kaplan is now the SVP of Digital Studios for Nickelodeon and Luke Wahl is the VP for Digital Studios joined in July.

The additional content on Facebook comes despite the fact that the social site requires its users to be at least 13. While younger children do use the platform, contravening Facebook’s own user policies, in the broader context of child safety, under-age usage of social media platforms is causing issues still rippling into the industry as YouTube was just hit with a US$170 million settlement with the FTC for allegedly claiming it wasn’t allowing kids on the platform, while actively courting kids content makers and advertisers.

The new series, as described by VDS:

From Nickelodeon:

Fact or Nicktion: an investigative weekly series where our MatPat explores the weird mysteries behind classic Nickelodeon shows and theorizes answers that just might ruin your childhood. Hosted by MatPat. Premieres Sept. 10

Make My Nick Dreams Come True: was one of your 6th grade #goals to run the Double Dare obstacle course? To get slimed? Get ready to make your Nick dream come true. Hosted by Joey Graceffa. Premiere date to be announced.

Very Bad Crafts: Armed with some of the most unconventional and useless items imaginable for crafting, our contestants are presented with a challenge to create themed target objects out of the items they have been presented. Judged and hosted by a quirky DIY influencer, our contestants do their absolute best to create magic out of the materials they are given. Part challenge show, part masterclass in the absurd, Very Bad Crafts is like Nailed It but with crafts, where contestants will be challenged to channel their inner Michelangelo. Premiere date to be announced.

From Comedy Central:

Beast to Beauty: a fabulous lifestyle duo helps New York’s ugliest pets refine their wardrobes, grooming, diet, cultural pursuits, and home décor. Hosted by Grace Helbig. Premieres Sept. 21.

Pitch Please: ambitious wannabe entrepreneurs present their breakthrough business ideas for extremely ridiculous concepts, that you wish were real. Hosted by Adam Waheed. Premieres Sept. 30.

From Awesomeness:

Tri Me: Rickey Thompson settles real-life disputes between roommates, coworkers, friends, and significant others with help from the Facebook audience. Hosted by Rickey Thompson. Premiere to be announced.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Embarks on New Direction with its Biggest, Most Wide-Ranging Content Slate Ever!

Originally published: Thursday, September 05, 2019.

Original source: Tubefilter; Additional sources: Kidscreen, Broadcasting & Cable.
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