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Script competition

Facebook falls for Fuller’s Skam

NRK’s Skam examines the lives of a group of 16-year-olds

MIPCOM: An English-language version of Norwegian teen drama Skam (Shame), produced by Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment, is to be the latest show to launch on Facebook Watch.

XIX Entertainment announced last year it would be creating a North American version of the show after reaching an agreement with its Norwegian broadcaster, NRK. Skam creator Julie Andem will be showrunner on the series.

The show, which explores subjects such as eating disorders, sexual identity and religion among a group of 16-year-olds, involves the audience through weekly webcasts and social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, in addition to weekly episodes broadcast live online. A weekly catch-up show on NRK’s linear network also recaps events.

This level of audience interactivity made it a “perfect show” for Facebook Watch, according to Facebook head of global creative strategy Ricky Van Veen.

“The way it’s told is built for social media,” Van Veen said. “If a party is happening on Tuesday at 02.00 in the storyline, that four-minute scene will go online on Tuesday at 02.00. If there’s a recap conversation about it at lunch next day, Wednesday at noon it goes online.”

Facebook’s acquisition of Skam follows the news that NRK and Beta Film, which hold the global rights, had struck deals with networks across Europe to create local versions of the show.

Meanwhile, Facebook director of product Daniel Danker confirmed that Watch, which was launched in August, would be rolled out internationally in due course.

“We really first and foremost need to learn from what we’ve just started to roll out. We’re going to iterate the product, we’re going to make the whole experience better and that will guide our timeline for when we take it internationally. Of course, our aim is to bring it to more countries, but at this stage it’s just a tick too early to know just when.”

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Content London 2019
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