Vertical Networks’ Snapchat Discover series Phone Swap will air this summer as a limited series on select Fox Television Stations this summer, said Stephen Brown, the group’s executive vice president of development.
“Dating formats have been absent from the syndicated lineup for a number of years. Phone Swap with its creative, fun twist is a program that we think will resonate with our viewers and re-ignite the genre,” said Brown in a statement.
With this move, Phone Swap is the first series produced for Snapchat to move to television. In the half-hour series, three pairs of contestants agree to go on a blind date before learning that first their phones will be taken and given to their potential date to see if she or he still wants to go.
“At Vertical, we marry data and creative to produce high-engagement formats and audiences that are made to travel. Thousands of viewers asked us to do this, and in Fox we have found the perfect partner to bring ‘Phone Swap’ to linear television,” said Tom Wright, CEO of Vertical Networks, also in a statement.
Vertical Networks was founded in 2016 by Elisabeth Murdoch.
Phone Snap is currently in its second season with episodes airing twice a week on Snapchat Discover. The show’s first season attracted an average of 10 million viewers per episode.
The series also marks the first entry in the Fox Television Stations’ annual programming derby in which it runs several new series both to offer viewers new shows to watch instead of repeats of existing series, and to see if any of the shows work well enough to go into broader distribution.
This summer, Fox will do less original programming in the summer due to carrying the World Cup soccer tournament in June and July, but it still has plans to try out some shows.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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