×
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

  • Ryan KadroPaleyLive NY: The News Is

    'CBS This Morning' Chief Ryan Kadro to Exit

    Ryan Kadro, the executive producer of “CBS This Morning,” told staffers of the A.M. program Friday that he would step down from his position in early January, citing a desire to find a new challenge. “Nearly nine years after we created CBS This Morning, I’m stepping aside and leaving it in very capable hands.  This [...]

  • Dirty John Remote Controlled Podcast

    Listen: 'Dirty John' Boss Talks Playing With Perspective to Dive Into John Meehan's Mind

    Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In this week’s episode, “Dirty John” showrunner Alexandra Cunningham sits down with Variety‘s senior features editor of TV, Danielle Turchiano, to talk about working with Connie Britton to develop a scripted version of [...]

  • '4 Blocks' Greenlit For Third Season;

    Turner Greenlights Final Season of '4 Blocks'; Amazon Prime to Stream Season 2

    Turner International has ordered the third and final season of the hit German gangster series “4 Blocks,” which world-premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year and went on to win multiple awards. The third season will comprise six episodes and will be directed by Özgür Yıldırım, who had co-helmed Season 2 with Oliver Hirschbiegel. [...]

  • Mika Brzezinski

    'Morning Joe's' Mika Brzezinski Apologizes On Air for Using Gay Slur

    “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski apologized on Friday morning for using a gay slur to describe Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The MSNBC anchor was criticized heavily on social media platforms and by President Donald Trump after she mused during Wednesday’s broadcast that Pompeo wanted to be a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy.” Brzezinski’s comments were [...]

  • Nancy Wilson

    Nancy Wilson, Grammy-Winning Jazz Singer and TV Personality, Dies at 81

    Nancy Wilson, one of the most revered jazz singers of the 20th century, has died, her manager told the Associated Press. She was 81. The singer passed away at her home in Pioneertown, a small California community north of Palm Springs, after a long illness, according to manager Devra Hall. Wilson’s three Grammy awards spanned a [...]

  • Emmys 2019 Rule Change Defines TV

    New Emmys Rules Define Television Movie Length

    The Television Academy announced new rules for the 2019 Emmys Thursday night, including setting the minimum length for qualifying television movies at 75 minutes. The rules changes also included the addition of an Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Underscore) award, and restructuring the choreography categories as follows: Outstanding Choreography [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content