ITV Commissions Full Season of 'Release

Social media chatter helps lift ratings on second showing

LONDON — U.K. commercial network ITV has commissioned a full season of horror gameshow “Release the Hounds,” ordering six episodes from producers Gogglebox Entertainment.

Building on the success of the hour-long show’s debut ratings as a Halloween special for ITV2 last year, the series will go into production this spring and be hosted by Reggie Yates.

The one-off special last year, also hosted by Yates, generated the number one trend on Twitter during the show’s premiere, and again during the repeat on Halloween night last year.

The consolidated ratings for the Halloween night special was 658,000, which was almost double the initial run three days earlier, 361,000. This was largely attributable to the social media wave around it.

The first season of “Release the Hounds” will see unsuspecting contestants enter a forest at dusk. The not so fearless friends will face terrifying challenges to get their hands on money locked in chests, but if they want to keep it they then have to out-run a pack of hounds guarding the loot.

Angela Jain, ITV’s director of digital channels and acquisitions, said: ” ‘Release the Hounds’ was one of those rare things — a show that defies description, but that, once you watch it, just works — both terrifying and entertaining in equal measure, we are thrilled to bits that a full season will be on ITV.”

The series is created and produced by Gogglebox Entertainment, a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television, which distributes the format internationally.

The show was commissioned by Kate Maddigan, ITV’s commissioning editor for entertainment, and ordered for ITV2 by Angela Jain, ITV’s director of digital channels and acquisitions. The executive producers are Gogglebox founders Adam Wood and Mat Steiner.

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