Phone Swap is becoming the first Snapchat series to go from a mobile format to television. Fox Television Stations has closed a deal with Vertical Networks for a TV version of the company’s Snapchat reality dating show to air for a limited run on select Fox television stations this summer.
The Fox station group introduced the limited summer-run model for testing new syndicated show prospects. Success stories to come out of the initiative are talkers The Wendy Williams Show and The Real. The Phone Swap TV series will be produced by Vertical Networks. The company, which focuses on video content for mobile devices, was founded in 2016 by Elisabeth Murdoch, whose family controls Fox TV Stations parent 21st Century Fox.
In Phone Swap, strangers trade phones to see what they discover about each other before deciding whether they want to pursue a first date. In each half-hour episode, three pairs of contestants agree to go on a blind date, but what they don’t know is that their phones will be commandeered and dissected by the other. The audience witnesses the fear, anxiety, squeamishness and excitement as the contestants get unrestricted access to each other’s phones.
The program is in its second season, with episodes airing twice a week on Snapchat Discover. Phone Swap’s first season attracted an average of 10 million viewers per episode.
“Dating formats have been absent from the syndicated lineup for a number of years,” Stephen Brown, EVP Development for Fox Television Stations, said in making the announcement. “Phone Swap, with its creative, fun twist, is a program that we think will resonate with our viewers and re-ignite the genre.”