×

Snapchat to Bow ‘My Ex-BFF Court’ Parody Series from Elisabeth Murdoch’s Vertical Networks

Snap has been getting hammered in the stock market, and it just lost its head of content, Nick Bell. But the company is still pushing on its original-content strategy for Snapchat, as it looks to boost ad revenue from its user base of 186 million daily users.

Snapchat’s newest short-form original: “My Ex-BFF Court,” a spoof of daytime-TV fare like “Divorce Court” and “Judge Judy” in which two former best friends hash out a beef — and the guilty party is sentenced to some kind of quirky punishment.

The quasi-reality show comes from Vertical Networks, the mobile content studio founded by Elisabeth Murdoch, which has distributed several other shows on Snapchat. “My Ex-BFF Court” will premiere Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6 a.m. PT on Snapchat’s Discovery page, with subsequent episodes in the 12-part series hitting on following Thursdays.

Vertical Networks is using the actual set from the “Divorce Court” syndicated show to shoot “My Ex-BFF Court” at a studio in West L.A. Presiding over “My Ex-BFF Court” is Judge Matteo Lane, a New York-based comedian (whose real name is Matthew Lane), who metes out justice to the pairs of bickering pals with sassy, satirical flair.

The show was developed out of Vertical Networks’ analysis of usage from Brother, its daily Snapchat Publisher Story targeted at millennial males, which reaches an average of over 34 million unique monthly viewers. The company discovered that relationship drama (through bits like “Ways to Mess With Your Friends”) was far more interesting to Brother’s audience than romantic relationships, said Bailey Rosser, director of audience development and head of content at Vertical Networks.

“We took the concept of ‘friend conflict’– which tested with relatively high interest on Brother — and curated that into a courtroom show, based on what tropes have been popular on TV,” Rosser said.

Vertical Networks is managing production and casting for “My Ex-BFF Court” in house. Each episode runs 3-4 minutes.

“My Ex-BFF Court” joins Snapchat’s expanded slate of originals, which includes scripted and reality shows. The social and messaging app has run more than 60 original series, from partners including NBC, CBS, ESPN, Viacom, Discovery, A&E, the NBA, and the NFL.

In addition to “My Ex-BFF Court,” Snap has launched Vertical Networks’ “Parental Guidance,” a show in which moms or dads find date on behalf of their offspring, and “Solve,” a scripted murder-mystery series. Vertical’s popular “Phone Swap” dating show will return to Snapchat for a holiday season through the end of the year.

Vertical Networks, founded in 2016, is currently based in Venice Beach, Calif., but will be moving to new offices in Santa Monica next year. In September, the company appointed former Mitu chief operating officer Jesús Chavez as its CEO.

More Digital

  • Stuber

    ‘Stuber’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Twentieth Century Fox claims the top spot in spending with “Stuber.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.91 million through Sunday for 1,325 national ad airings on 42 networks. [...]

  • Andy Signore Screen Junkies

    'Honest Trailers' Creator Andy Signore Settles Defy Media Suit

    Andy Signore, the creator of Screen Junkies’ “Honest Trailers,” has settled a lawsuit against Defy Media challenging his firing for alleged sexual misconduct. Signore was one of the first figures to lose his job in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein harassment revelations in October 2017. Defy Media, which then owned Screen Junkies, terminated him [...]

  • Joyride

    With Joyride, Everyone Can Host Their Own HQ Trivia

    When mobile game developer Kiwi first released Joyride, the app looked familiar: Similar to wildly popular HQ Trivia, Joyride offered players the ability to win quiz shows in live broadcasts. The key difference: Joyride’s app wasn’t home to just one trivia show, but multiple shows around topics like music, dating, fandom, and yes, trivia, all [...]

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • Paula Pell

    Quibi Orders Comedic Murder Mystery From Lorne Michaels, 'SNL' Alums

    Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, [...]

  • View of the Public Library on

    New York City Public Libraries Drop Kanopy Free Movie-Streaming Service

    Kanopy suffered a blow with the decision by New York City’s three public library systems — collectively the biggest library system in the U.S., with some 210 branches across the Big Apple — to drop the free movie-streaming service, citing high costs. As of July 1, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn and [...]

  • Cameo

    Celebrity Video Greetings Service Cameo Raises $50 Million

    Cameo, a service that works with celebrities to sell personalized video greetings to fans, has raised a $50 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeeed Venture Partners participated in the funding as well. Cameo wants to use the cash infusion to grow both [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content