American Idol-backed reality TV series to launch on Facebook

Michelle Clancy | 13-08-2012

A Chance to Dance, the new reality TV contest series from the producers of American Idol, is coming to Facebook and American cable simultaneously. Facebook denizens will be able to buy episodes via the social network for $1.99 each with a credit card or PayPal, or a seven-episode bundle for $11.99.

The new series will be shown on mid-tier cable net Ovation as well. Because the show won't be available on basic cable or national broadcast networks, the Facebook integration is a way to bring the show to a wider audience than it may otherwise have had.
"We certainly see no possibility of audience cannibalisation," said Chad Gutstein, chief operating officer of Ovation.
The idea is to build buzz around the show from week to week, with Facebook friends watching the show together and commenting. The integration will offer interactive activities like trivia questions and chat, plus exclusives like extra scenes and producer Q&As. That's good for advertising, which is what Facebook is looking to get out of the deal, and also could drive more cable upsell if enough people ar exposed to the show.
Facebook has been slowly proving itself as a video distributor, famously offering rentals of Batman: The Dark Night before the film came to DVD and Blu-ray. It's also worked with Major League Baseball to show pre-season spring training games, and has a deal with Lionsgate and other movie studios to offer electronic sell-through for new home entertainment releases.