Nickelodeon Orders Virtually Produced Series ‘Group Chat: The Show’ & ‘Game Face’ For Summer Premieres


Nickelodeon has ordered two virtually produced interactive series — pop culture talk show Group Chat: The Show, hosted by Side Hustle stars Annie LeBlanc and Jayden Bartels, and celebrity game show Game Face (working titles), both for premiere this summer.

Led by LeBlanc and Bartels, the six-episode Group Chat: The Show also will 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. It’s set to premiere Saturday, May 23 at 8:30 pm ET/PT.

In the six-episode Game Face, celebrities’ true identities are hidden behind an animated filter and voice changer, while a star-studded panel is given wacky clues and competes to decipher the mystery guest. Viewers can participate 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 pm (ET/PT).


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.”

Virtual production is becoming more common as producers brainstorm creative solutions to continue creating shows amid the ongoing coronavirus quarantine.

Since March 16 (when coronavirus-related production shutdowns and stay-at-home orders kicked in) 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. Nick’s YouTube channels also are up double digits.

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.

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