The two shows embody the kind of programming that has been most popular on the still-nascent Watch platform: viral videos and personality-driven lifestyle series. “The Nala Show” debuts Friday, April 27, and “Help Us Get Married!” hosted by Mowry-Housley premieres May 3.
Facebook hasn’t disclosed metrics for Watch, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week said data indicates the strategy is working. “I’d say it’s still pretty early overall in terms of the growth of [Watch], but it’s clearly an area that’s important, where I think we have something unique that we’re going to bring to make this successful,” he said on the company’s Q1 earnings call Wednesday.
The first episode of “The Nala Show” goes live April 27 at 1 p.m. ET, with new episodes set to drop each Friday on the show’s Facebook Watch Page (at this link). For what it’s worth, Nala — a 7-year-old, blue-eyed Siamese mix — holds the record as the most popular cat on Facebook-owned Instagram (@nala_cat), with more than 3.5 million followers. She has 2.5 million followers on Facebook.
Nala’s owner, L.A.-based Varisiri Mathachittiphan, produces the popular cat’s social-media output, which has expanded to feature four other adopted kitties and one adopted dog. Members of the Nala Cat Group on Facebook will have access to exclusive content and viewing events such as Watch Parties, which let users view videos at the same time in a group.
“Help Us Get Married!”, which Facebook is funding, takes an interactive spin on the wedding-planning TV genre. The show follows three newly engaged couples, who face a different wedding-day decision in each Thursday episode. Facebook viewers will be able to weigh in with their thoughts through polls, and in Friday night episodes will reveal the audience votes for each couple.
The series is set to run over 12 weeks, culminating in an episode featuring the three couples’ weddings. “Help Us Get Married!” is hosted by Mowry-Housley, who also co-hosts syndicated daytime talkshow “The Real.” She’s perhaps best known for starring in ’90s Disney Channel series “Sister, Sister” alongside her twin sister, Tia Mowry (who has her own Facebook Watch series, “Quick Fix”).
“I remember planning my own wedding and how stressful decision making can really be for every little detail,” Mowry-Housley said in a statement. “Through the help of the community on Facebook, I hope we can make the process for each couple much easier as they let us into the most intimate planning of their wedding days and have a lot of fun along the way.”
The show is produced by Thumb Candy Media, the digital studio division of B-17 Entertainment, founded by Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher, who serve as executive producers alongside Richard Courtney. Mowry-Housley is represented by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Loeb & Loeb.