EXCLUSIVE: Catfish host Nev Schulman has signed with Grand Central Publishing for his first book In Real Life, which the Hachette imprint will publish in fall, 2014. Schulman will write about his continuing exploration of relationships in the digital age, which started with the indie documentary Catfish. It broadened to the MTV spinoff show in which he helps one partner in a digital relationship meet the other, a collision that usually leads to the discovery the other person isn’t who they said they are, and sometimes not even the gender they claimed to be.
I had the opportunity to see Catfish in its premiere screening at Sundance several years ago. Some claimed later that events were exaggerated and that Schulman wasn’t that hoodwinked when he went cross country with a camera to commit to a relationship with a model beauty that turned out to be a lonely middle-aged housewife. But you could see by the audience reaction to that screening that Schulman and his cohorts had tapped into something in the zeitgeist, and did it in a most entertaining way. I didn’t foresee Schulman turning all this into a career, but kids (mine included) sure do love that show. The book will also convey lessons he learned personally and from the show on how not to get sucked into an emotional attachment through Facebook or other social media with a person who puts up a phony picture and is out to play with their heartstrings. Grand Central’s Pippa White acquired world publishing rights from CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.