AT&T’s social-media entertainment studio Hello Lab has recruited a cluster of young digital stars with a collective following of 38 million fans for its latest production — which has a message.
“Guilty Party,” a show about high-school bullying, will be told through a combo of weekly episodes and daily character vlogs. The series stars internet influencers Tiffany Alvord, Kian Lawley, Teala Dunn, Miles McKenna, Alexis G. Zall, Jessie Paege and Manolo Vergara.
“Guilty Party” is slated to debut Aug. 29 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social-media accounts for the series. The full run of the series will be available on DirecTV Now, AT&T’s internet pay-TV streaming service, later in 2017.
In the show, when the teen target of cyberbullying (Tiffany Alvord) appears to start taking revenge on the clique that casts her out, others kids in the school must face the sins of their past before their secrets tear them apart.
One of the twists: The audience plays the role of detective to discover who is exposing everyone’s secrets, via clues posted on “Guilty Party” social channels. Characters also will comment and interact directly with fans in the comments section of each episode and select vlogs on YouTube. Additionally, superfans will have the opportunity to submit conspiracy theories and fan art, the best of which will be hosted on the blog of Tess (played by Zall), the show’s narrator.
“‘Guilty Party’ takes the YA genre one step further by making the narrative interactive,” said Maude Standish, VP of programming strategy, Fullscreen Media. “We’re excited to see how fans respond to their favorite creators doing something so different from their daily content.”
Aside from the show being part of AT&T Hello Lab, no sponsors are involved.
Given the show’s cyberbullying theme, the cast of “Guilty Party” will be involved with AT&T and Fullscreen’s “Later Haters” campaign (later-haters.att.com), which “promotes positivity and kindness online,” according to AT&T. Throughout the run of the series, some of the cast will deliver messages encouraging viewers to spread love — not fear and hate — in their daily lives.
“Guilty Party” is directed by Kelly Landry and Ben Pluimer. The ensemble cast also includes Leonora Pitts, Anzu Lawson, Kenny Knox, and Vale Genta.
AT&T Hello Lab produces original content featuring and aimed at millennial and Gen Z audiences on social media, in conjunction with Fullscreen Media (which is owned by AT&T/Chernin Group’s Otter Media). Hello Lab’s best-known series is “@SummerBreak,” which originally launched in 2013 and is now in its fifth season.