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Most Popular Facebook Shows: So Far, They’re a Lot of Viral Videos

It’s been five days since Facebook started opening up Watch, its new video guide for longer-form content, to U.S. users — and the most popular stuff trending in the first week is viral clips, rather than longer-form, TV-like episodes.

Out of several hundred shows on Watch, the most-watched video so far: The funeral-prank premiere episode of A&E’s “Bae or Bail,” which has notched more than 22 million views. In the four-and-a-half-minute clip, three different people punk their significant others at a fake funeral (supposedly of a coworker’s relative) in which the corpse springs from the coffin after a voodoo ritual. The episode has more than 100,000 reactions and has been shared more than 200,000 times.

To be sure, some of the Facebook-funded shows are hitting high marks. The first episode of Mike Rowe’s “Returning the Favor,” a docu-series recognizing local heroes, has 11.8 million views. Conde Nast Entertainment’s debut ep of “Virtually Dating” featuring a VR blind date set in outer space has 7.6 million views, while “Ball in the Family,” the reality series featuring LaVar Ball and his basketball-playing brood, has notched 5.5 million in the first five days for the premiere segment.

But it’s noteworthy that viral content in Watch from popular Facebook comedians like Ray William Johnson and Laura Clery are in some cases outperforming the premium-produced series. Other content engineered for viral shareability includes The Dodo’s “Comeback Kids: Animal Edition,” which has more than 13 million views for “Dog Who Lost Her Legs Was Determined To Walk Again.”

Johnson, who rose to fame with his YouTube comedy show “Equals Three,” has more than 25 million views for recently released episodes on his “The Funny Page” show. Those include the sexually transmitted disease comedy sketch “You’re Infected, Bro” (9.3 million views) and “Accidental Dick Pic” (4.8 million views).

Meanwhile, there’s a caveat with the way Facebook reports aggregate video views: The social site’s definition of a “view” in this context is any view that’s 3 seconds or longer. So, it’s not clear how many of these views represent people watching full episodes as opposed to a few seconds. YouTube, by contrast, uses a secret algorithm to tabulate legitimate video views.

Here are the top-performing episodes of the shows in Facebook’s Watch, with view counts to date:

  • A&E’s “Bae or Bail”: “Funeral Prank,” 22.2 million
  • The Dodo, “Comeback Kids: Animal Edition”: “Dog Who Lost Her Legs Was Determined To Walk Again,” 13.1 million
  • Mike Rowe’s “Returning the Favor”: “Operation Combat Bikesaver,” 11.8 million
  • Ray William Johnson’s The Funny Page: “You’re Infected, Bro,” 9.3 million
  • Conde Nast Entertainment, “Virtually Dating”: “VR Blind Date in Outer Space,”  7.6 million
  • Ray William Johnson’s The Funny Page: “When She Finally Leaves You,” 5.7 million
  • “Ball in the Family: ” Bittersweet Victory,” 5.5 million
  • Ray William Johnson’s The Funny Page: “You’re Trying Too Hard,” 5.1 million
  • Ray William Johnson’s The Funny Page: “Accidental Dick Pic,” 4.8 million
  • Mike Rowe’s “Returning the Favor”: “Donovan Discovers,” 4.1 million
  • NBA’s “Best of the NBA”: “Top 40 Long Distance Shots of the 2016-17 NBA Season,” 3.6 million
  • NBA’s “Best of the NBA”: “Top 50 Blocks of the 2016-17 NBA Season,” 3.2 million
  • Laura Clery’s “Help Helen Smash”: “Labor Day With the Family,” 3 million
  • Nameless.tv’s “Weird Wild World”: “This Boy Is Worshipped,” 3 million
  • Nas Daily, “She Has 20 Cars!,” 2.6 million
  • Red Bull “Raw 100”: “Brandon Semenuk is back”: 1.9 million
  • “Apocalypse NowThis”: “How the World Could End: Nuclear Annihilation,” 1.7 million
  • Cake Boss: “Outrageous Cakes: Lady Liberty,” 1.6 million
  • ATTN:’s “Health Hacks”: “Portion Sizes in America vs. The World,” 1.3 million
  • Laura Clery’s “Help Helen Smash”: “Me Trying To Flirt On Botox,” 1.3 million
  • Nas Daily, “She Used to Be a Man!,” 1.1 million
  • Robert Reich’s “The Reich Report”: “Trump’s Corporate Tax Cuts,” 1.1 million

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