As previously announced, Facebook is partnering with MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions — the creators of the original “Real World,” which debuted in 1992 — to fund new versions of the iconic reality show, in the U.S., Mexico and Thailand. They’re set to launch sometime this spring.
Facebook is still withholding key details of the new “Real World” in the U.S., presumably to build anticipation as the series launch nears. It hasn’t announced the other six contestants, the location of the house yet or a specific launch date for “The Real World,” which has 760,000 fans on Facebook so far.
The three candidates for fan voting (pictured above, left to right) are: Michelle, 26, from Los Angeles. an international studies student of Thai and Mexican-American heritage overcoming the challenges of a long-distance relationship and previous battles with substance abuse; Clint, 28, from Potterville, Mich., who hopes to take over his family’s farm someday; and Joanna, 25, a kindergarten teacher from New Orleans who has had past struggles in her family with cancer.
Starting Friday (March 1), Facebook fans have one week to weigh in on who they’d like to see join the upcoming U.S. season via an in-video casting poll the Facebook Show Page at facebook.com/realworld. (Voting closes March 8 at 12 p.m. ET.) The reboot carries the same tagline as the original: “Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.”
As the new series rolls out, fans on Facebook will have the opportunity to connect directly with the cast, with social features like Facebook Live, Groups and Watch Party. Each region’s “Real World” season will also include weekly scene drops, Facebook Stories and full episodes.
In addition to the new versions of “The Real World,” Facebook will bring back three full past seasons of the show, with a fan vote determining which prior seasons will be available. Voting starts March 4 for a three-week period in three categories: “Favorite Season” — New York (season 1), San Francisco (season 3), or Austin (season 16); “Hottest Cast” — London (season 4), Key West (season 17), or Ex-Plosion (season 29); and “Most Controversial Season” — Los Angeles (season 2), Las Vegas (season 12), or Portland (season 28). The seasons with the most votes will be announced on March 25 and will be available to view on Facebook Watch leading up to the new seasons’ premieres.
Facebook’s theory behind the fan-voting stunts for “The Real World” is that they will drive engagement and interest in “The Real World,” taking advantage of the platform’s social and interactive features. Of course, social-media tie-ins by TV shows are nothing new, but Facebook is betting that the close integration of Watch programming with such features will be an additional lure.
For Facebook, “The Real World” investment is part of its growing social giant’s lineup of Watch originals, designed to boost time spent viewing video — and, the company hopes, drive up video ad dollars from marketers interested in TV-style upfront buys.
This past Wednesday, “Will Smith’s Bucket List,” with the actor engaging in different stunts around the world, debuted on Facebook Watch. Facebook also announced “Human Discoveries,” an animated comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Zac Efron, scheduled to debut later in 2019, and ordered a docu-series about Mexican drug lord El Chapo from Rolling Stone and Jigsaw Productions.