MTV’s The Real World is set to make a comeback — on Facebook.
The social network is teaming up with MTV to launch a reboot of the famed reality show for its video platform, Facebook Watch.
Facebook is likely hoping that rebooting the longtime MTV favorite, which originally debuted in 1995, will draw new viewers to its Watch platform. Watch, which launched globally at the end of August, has had buy-in from a number of publishers (including Mashable) but hasn’t yet produced big hits.
But having a popular long-running series make its comeback on Watch could help move the needle back in Facebook’s favor.
“The Real World made history as the world’s first original reality show and trailblazing social experiment,” Facebook’s head of content planning and strategy Matthew Henick said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to reboot the show for today’s audiences — representing and amplifying the real life, real people, real places and real social tensions of each country.”
The Real World will also be one of the first international shows for Watch. In addition to debuting in the U.S., the series will also get seasons in Thailand and in Mexico — all of which are slated to air in the spring of 2019.
Facebook’s latest programming announcement also comes on the heels of a report that the company is building a dedicated set-top box for streaming Facebook Watch content. Though the box likely won’t launch until next year, it further signals how important it is for the company to have a video platform that can compete with YouTube and, increasingly, traditional TV networks.
Facebook isn’t alone in this regard. Snapchat is also investing heavily in original programming. The app recently announced a new lineup of shows called Snap Originals that are meant to bolster Snapchat’s credibility as a platform for more premium video content. Facebook-owned Instagram also recently launched its hub for long form video, IGTV, which is meant to compete with YouTube for attention from influencers.