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Facebook originals gather pace

Facebook’s much-anticipated move into original programming is taking shape with details of two initial projects emerging, one a reality competition series from American Ninja Warrior producer A Smith & Co.

Cancelled MTV comedy Loosely Exactly Nicole

The social media giant’s growing focus on video is gathering momentum with a string of unscripted and scripted shows said to be in development, with budgets reportedly as high as US$250,000 per episode.

Now A Smith & Co has been named as the company behind a show called Last State Standing, which Facebook is moving ahead with. It sees contestants from across the US compete in a series of challenges for the chance to win a US$500,000 prize.

Netflix, Amazon and now Apple are all getting into the unscripted business.

Details of the Facebook show emerged stateside yesterday, a day after The Hollywood Reporter revealed the firm’s first foray into TV-style content is likely to be a revival of cancelled MTV comedy Loosely Exactly Nicole.

The social network recently hired MTV exec VP of scripted development Mina Lefevre as head of original content development, reporting to its video content chief Ricky Van Veen, hired last year from CollegeHumour.

Facebook was last month said to have struck an array of video partnerships with parties including Buzzfeed, Vox Media and ATTN. Full details of its inaugural programming slate are expected soon.


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