Thursday, May 07, 2020

Nickelodeon Greenlights 'Group Chat: The Show' and 'Game Face'; To Premiere Summer 2020


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HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—May 6, 2020—Nickelodeon is challenging the medium with two brand-new virtually interactive greenlights premiering this summer--Group Chat: The Show and Game Face (working titles). Hosted by social media stars Annie LeBlanc and Jayden Bartels, Group Chat: The Show is a video chat rundown of the week’s latest hot topics, taken directly from what kids love and are talking about across social media. Game Face is a game show that features a star-studded panel that must guess the identities of virtually disguised celebrity guests.

Group Chat: The Show and Game Face will bring together kids’ favorite celebrities and topics in a format meant to live across all Nickelodeon screens,” said Ashley Kaplan, Senior Vice President, Digital Studios. “The virtual filming of these shows will provide the fun escape kids crave, but also let them know that we understand what they’re going through and are listening to what they have to say.”

Group Chat: The Show (six episodes) is a new pop culture talk show hosted by Annie LeBlanc and Jayden Bartels, co-stars of Nickelodeon’s Side Hustle. Each episode will also feature Hayley LeBlanc (Mani), along with fan-favorite stars, as they talk about the hottest trend topics of the week based on what kids are currently discussing across social media, play games and compete in challenges--all via video chat. Group Chat: The Show premieres Saturday, May 23, at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Side Hustle is a new multi-cam series in which two best friends suddenly have to create a business after inadvertently destroying a neighbour’s car. Production on the show started in March, however, it's currently paused due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

In Game Face (six episodes), celebrities’ true identities are hidden behind an animated filter and voice changer in the game show, while a star-studded panel is given wacky clues and competes to decipher the mystery guest. Viewers can get in on the fun by downloading the show’s filters to transform into the same characters as their favorite celebrities. A host will be announced at a later date. Game Face will begin remote production this month, with a premiere slated for Saturday, June 13, at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

The two series on Nick follow a remotely produced version of the Kids' Choice Awards that aired Saturday, May 2 and are part of a growing cohort of shows to embrace socially distanced filming. Nickelodeon's efforts to connect with at-home kids also includes the soon-to-air Danger Force “Quaran-kini” special, which features the heroes from the show solving a mystery while on a conference call together.

Since March 16, the Nickelodeon portfolio (Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick) has posted double-digits gains with Kids 6-11, up +24% versus prior four weeks and +5% year over year. Over the last month, Nickelodeon has posted double-digit gains, up +22% with Kids 6-11 (1.1/148,000) versus prior four weeks.

Nickelodeon’s YouTube channels (Nickelodeon, SpongeBob, All That, America’s Most Musical Family, Nick Animation, NickRewind, Henry Danger, The Loud House and The Casagrandes) have posted double-digit increases in consumption. The weekly average for the week of 3/15/20 – week of 4/19/20 was up +75% in views, and +95% in watch time compared to the 10 weeks prior (week 1/5/20 – week 3/8/20).

Production of Group Chat: The Show and Game Face for Nickelodeon is overseen by Ashley Kaplan, Senior Vice President, Digital Studios; Luke Wahl, Vice President, Digital Studios; and Paul J. Medford, Vice President, Unscripted Current Series.

These new shows also fit into Nick’s trend of leaning into unscripted and social-star led programming, which its done by stacking its upcoming slate with projects including unscripted series Top Elf, where kids compete in building and designing through holiday-themed challenges, as well as 10 x half-hour hidden camera prank show The Substitute that often features influencers as the surprise guest.

Nickelodeon, now in its 41st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location-based experiences, publishing and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC).


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Originally published: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 at 17:25 BST.

Additional sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Kidscreen.
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