×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC Hopes Feel-Good Series for Facebook About Americans Uniting Goes Viral

Americans are as deeply divided as ever, but ABC sees the potential for a viral-video hit with “More in Common,” a new Facebook-funded short-form show about people from different backgrounds coming together in unexpected ways.

The first episode will bow on Saturday, July 21, at 12 p.m. ET in the recently announced news section on Facebook Watch and the show’s page (facebook.com/MoreInCommon). The premiere of “More in Common” tells the story of a softball game between Chicago police and local gang members that takes place just blocks from the city’s most deadly street corner.

“More in Common” is executive produced by ABC’s Michael Koenigs — who produced ABC News’ most viral video of 2017. Koenigs’ segment about a former neo-Nazi who decided to remove his swastika tattoos after forming a friendship with his black female parole officer currently has 51 million views on Facebook alone.

The show’s episodes may include midroll ads (which would be sold by Facebook). ABC isn’t disclosing how many episodes Facebook has ordered, but if the initial run performs well the social giant is likely to order more installments.

The weekly series comes from Disney/ABC TV’s ABC Owned Television Stations Group. Facebook is funding the weekly show, as part of its new slate of news content. “More in Common” also is the first series for Localish, a digital-focused media brand from the owned-and-operated TV group focusing on “the good in America’s cities,” launching on ABC platforms this fall.

“With deep connections in the local communities we serve, our stations are uniquely positioned to source and share stories of Americans defying the odds to come together around a common purpose,” Wendy McMahon, president of ABC Owned Television Stations Group, said in a statement.

According to ABC, “More in Common” will showcase people of various races, religions, genders and backgrounds in cities and towns across America unexpectedly finding common ground. Episodes will range from 4-8 minutes. Upcoming episodes, to run Saturdays at noon ET, will highlight the first girls to join the Boy Scouts and a North Korean defector who finds love in L.A.

In tone, “More in Common” feels akin to Mike Rowe’s “Returning the Favor,” one of Facebook’s first original series, in which the host traveled across the country to surprise and recognize local heroes. That show’s page has attracted 1.9 million followers since launching last summer.

Separately, Facebook also is funding an ABC News daily show called “On Location,” featuring top headlines and dispatches from correspondents worldwide. It’s expected to debut in early August.

Other partners Facebook is paying to produce news shows for Watch include CNN, Fox News, Univision, Bloomberg, BuzzFeed News, ATTN:, Mic, Quartz, McClatchy, NowThis and Tegna

The ABC Owned Television Stations Group includes eight stations: WABC (New York); KABC (Los Angeles); WLS (Chicago); WPVI (Philadelphia); KGO (San Francisco); KTRK (Houston; WTVD (Raleigh-Durham, N.C.); and KFSN (Fresno, Calif.).

Watch the trailer for “More in Common”:

More TV

  • Point Horror Books

    HBO Max to Develop Anthology Series Based on 'Point Horror' Books (EXCLUSIVE)

    HBO Max is developing a series based on Scholastic’s “Point Horror” books, Variety has learned exclusively. The project hails from Picturestart and Lionsgate Television, with Picturestart under an overall deal at the studio. The show, which is currently titled “Point Fear,” is described as an anthology series that exposes the horrors of being a teenager. Each [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    TV Review: 'The Mandalorian' on Disney Plus

    SPOILER ALERT: This review discusses some spoilers for the first episode of Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian.” A vicious killer with a tragic past and the faint glimmers of a beating heart is no stranger to television, a medium particularly suited to telling winding stories about rises, falls and redemptions. And yet it’s still something of [...]

  • Roger and Cowan Promotions

    Rogers & Cowan/ PMK Promotes Executives in Entertainment Division

    Rogers & Cowan/PMK has promoted Lindsay Galin, Jeff Raymond, Dennis Dembia, Michael Donkis, and Marian Koltai-Levine to executive positions in its entertainment division. Galin and Raymond have been named co-presidents of talent. Dembia and Donkis have been promoted to co-presidents of entertainment and business strategy, and Koltai-Levine will serve as president of film, content and [...]

  • Laura Dern Actors on Actors

    Laura Dern's Mother, Diane Ladd, Didn't Want Her to Act

    Laura Dern has wanted to act since she was seven years old, and, coming from acting parents including father Bruce Dern and mother Diane Ladd, one may think her parents encouraged the propensity. But according to Dern, that wasn’t the case. “They didn’t want me to,” the “Marriage Story” actress told Sterling K. Brown during [...]

  • DANCING WITH THE STARS - "2019

    TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' Boosted by Sean Spicer Exit

    Sean Spicer waved goodbye to “Dancing With the Stars” last night, but ABC waved hello to a pretty big bump in the show’s rating and total viewership. Monday night’s episode scored a 1.0 rating and 7.2 million total viewers, up roughly 25% from last week’s 0.8 and 6.2 million. The former White House press secretary’s [...]

  • Studio Lambert Inks Development Deal With

    Studio Lambert Strikes Deal With ‘The Masked Singer’ Showrunner Izzie Pick Ibarra

    Studio Lambert is linking up with Izzie Pick Ibarra, the showrunner and exec producer of Fox’s “The Masked Singer.” The development deal will see All3Media-backed Studio Lambert and Pick Ibarra work together on new projects and others already in the works at Stephen Lambert’s shingle. Having relocated from the U.K. to the U.S. 15 years [...]

  • WGA Strike Labor Talks

    How the Streaming Revolution Is Making Guild Negotiations Even More Complicated

    It may not be a perfect storm yet, but ominous clouds are gathering. As the winter holidays approach, there’s growing agita across the industry about the potential for substantial labor strife next year. The WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA are gearing up for master film and TV contract negotiations with the major studios at a time [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content