MTV’s The Real World Is Making a Comeback … on Facebook Watch

The social network said at Mipcom 2018 that it will continue funding original shows

Total time spent on Facebook Watch is up 14 times since the beginning of the year Facebook

One of the forefathers of the reality TV genre has found a new home, as MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions are teaming up to co-produce three seasons of MTV’s The Real World for Facebook Watch.

The comeback of The Real World was one of the highlights of a keynote at Mipcom 2018 in Cannes, France, by Facebook head of content planning and strategy Matthew Henick and head of video products Paresh Rajwat.

Rajwat said that since Facebook Watch’s debut in August 2017, the video destination has seen “incredible momentum,” with more than 50 million people spending at least one minute on Facebook Watch each month, and total time spent on Facebook Watch up 14 times since the beginning of the year.

He added that people watch Facebook Watch videos five times longer than they do videos in News Feed.

And he highlighted features that have been added to Facebook Watch since its debut to help foster a sense of community, including Watch Party, enabling members of a group to view videos together—live or recorded—comment on them and react to them; and Premieres, allowing publishers and video creators to pre-record videos and debut them as live moments on Facebook, enabling people to experience them for the first time simultaneously.

Henick discussed Facebook’s strategy of funding shows for Facebook Watch, saying during the keynote, “Moving forward, we will continue investing in some original shows to test and learn about new video experiences. We’ll be looking closely at how people interact with content around the world and working with our partners to provide guidance based on what we learn. We will really lean into supporting a wide range of amazing video content from creators and publishers around the world—helping our partners find success with their videos.”

Facebook Watch continues its global expansion

He also provided details on the reboot of The Real World.

The show debuted on MTV in 1992 and aired for 32 seasons, wrapping up with Real World Seattle: Bad Blood, which ended in early 2017.

MTV’s The Real World on Facebook Watch will start with three seasons in the U.S., Mexico and Thailand—each native productions for the audiences in those countries—with production already under way and the goal of a spring 2019 release.

Henick said Facebook is working closely with MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions on social elements and new ways of releasing content, such as daily drops of scenes from the show.

He added that fans will have the ability to vote for housemates before the shows debut and to connect with the cast via tools such as Facebook Live, Premieres and Watch Party.

Henick said during the keynote, “The Real World made history as the world’s first original reality show and trailblazing social experiment, and we’re thrilled to reboot the show for today’s audiences, representing and amplifying the real life, real people, real places and real social tensions of each country.”

MTV president Chris McCarthy added, “MTV’s The Real World helped to define a generation and created a new genre of television with a simple yet powerful idea of connecting people from wildly divergent backgrounds to find common ground on the issues that often divided them. By partnering with Facebook Watch and BMP, we have the opportunity to impact culture and create a new genre of television all over again, while engaging the next generation of content consumers around the world.”

Henick also revealed that live daily interactive game show Confetti is going global, with local version s to debut in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America by year-end.

Confetti is produced by B17 Entertainment and distributed by Insider.

Players answer pop-culture trivia questions, and they can see which friends are playing at the same time and how they answered.

Finally, Facebook Watch is teaming up with The Dodo on global interactive competition series The World’s Most Amazing Dog, which celebrates dogs and their owners from around the world.

Henick said, “We’re excited to partner with The Dodo—the No. 1 digital media brand for animal people—as our official worldwide distribution partner, as well as 3 Ball Entertainment, one of the most prolific producers of reality and nonfiction programming. It’s no secret that The Dodo’s audience connects deeply with animals, and we can’t wait to celebrate these amazing dogs with them.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.