Back in December, Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment said it was making an English-language version of hit Scandi teen drama Shame (Skam). Today at Mipcom, Facebook’s Head of Global Creative Strategy, Ricky Van Veen, said the company is teaming with Fuller to bring the series to its newly-launched Facebook Watch.
The show, which debuted on NRK platforms in 2015, uses narratives in real time with unknown actors and scripts that are geared to a 16 year-old audience with a focus on teen issues. The show scored huge ratings among young and adult audiences in Scandinavia, growing its weekly audience from 24K to 1.262M (Norway has a total population of 5M) and outperformed many TV and streaming primetime hits in the territory. Episode length varies from 17-50 minutes.
Van Veen today said the teen drama is “built for social.” The U.S. production is being run from Fuller’s XIX in LA. Julie Andem, who created the original show, will also create the U.S. version and serve as executive producer along with Fuller and Sarah Heyward of Girls.
The news comes six weeks into the launch of Facebook Watch and the service is looking to expand, although international rollout is still a ways off. Daniel Danker, Director of Video Product, said today, “We really first and foremost need to learn from what we just started to roll out, how people’s behaviors are changing and what can we do better.” Those factors will “guide our timeline for when we take it international. It’s just a tick too early to know.”
The social media giant is looking to seed an ecosystem of creators with the long-term goal of having creators and partners make their own shows that a community can be built around. Yesterday, Indigenous Media and Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street said they are teaming to produce Five Points, a 10-episode original drama series created and written by Adam Giaudrone for Facebook Watch.
Danker added today, “What’s unique here is the combination of the social experience with content creation that can bridge the connection. I’m most excited to see how that comes together with the community… We’re in for a treat as we see what happens here.”