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Group Nine Partners with Facebook to Create Slate of Ten New Shows for Facebook Watch

NowThis, The Dodo, Thrillist, POPSUGAR and Seeker to Debut New Series Throughout 2020
Company Release
April 20, 2020

NEW YORK – (April 20, 2020) – Group Nine, the no. 1 video publisher on mobile in the U.S. [source: Nielsen DCR, March 2020], today announced that it has partnered with Facebook to create a slate of new shows for Facebook Watch. Each of Group Nine’s category leading brands - NowThis, The Dodo, Thrillist, POPSUGAR and Seeker - will develop and distribute new series on the platform. Six of the 10 new shows in Group Nine’s slate are part of Facebook’s publisher and creator program, which fosters collaborations between leading publishers, like Group Nine, and creators and public figures, bringing exclusive new videos to Facebook Watch.

“Group Nine is committed to creating premium video IP that resonates with our massive audience across multiple passion points,” said Group Nine’s President of Network, Mickey Meyer. “As the global industry leader in multi-platform, mobile-first content creation, we’re excited to partner with Facebook on new franchises featuring some of our fans’ favorite creators.”
 
Show descriptions of Group Nine’s new Facebook Watch slate are below: 

POPSUGAR’s “K-FitSugar”
Premiered March 15, 2020

Building on POPSUGAR’s wildly successful “Class FitSugar” series, “K-FitSugar” brings K-Pop dance tutorials to fans’ living rooms. This tutorial series teaches fans how to execute dances by their favorite groups from performances and music videos. Choreographer Ellen Kim breaks down a popular K-Pop music video move-by-move — allowing fans to grasp the dance piecemeal before putting it all together at the end of the show when she performs the full routine set to the music fans know and love. “K-FitSugar” taps into the dance cover content trend in K-Pop groups and encourages community members to create their own covers using what they’ve learned in our series. The highly focused nature of the program drives engagement within a number of highly active community groups on the Facebook platform.

NowThis’ “NowThis Nerd Presents: Fantasy”
Premiered April 10, 2020

“NowThis Nerd Presents: Fantasy” is a weekly series that dives deep into specific, timely topics from the world of fantasy fiction. From the high fantasy of ‘Wheel of Time’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ to gritty epics like ‘The Witcher’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ and the vast world of young adult fantasy like ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Percy Jackson,’ the fantasy genre has earned a prominent position in pop culture. With a history that spans centuries, fantasy fiction is bursting with rich, wonderful worlds that capture our imaginations and spark endless discussions. Each episode of “NowThis Nerd Presents: Fantasy,” hosted by NowThis Nerd producers, will be dedicated to exploring the fantastic creatures, ancient legends and cosmic cosmologies that define the fantasy genre.

The Dodo’s “YOU KNOW ME...NOW MEET MY PET” Season 2
Premieres May 1, 2020 

These adorable animals have played supporting roles to their parents so far, but now they're getting ready to steal the spotlight. In each episode, social media's top creators, including Desi Perkins (3.9M Instagram followers), Kaitlyn Bristowe (1.8M Instagram followers), Cassey Ho (1.7M Instagram followers), Justine Ezarik (1.6M Instagram followers) and Jenna Ezarik (381.1K Instagram followers), Grace Helbig (1.5M Instagram followers), Hannah Hart (1.2M Instagram followers), and Lizzy Capri (759K Instagram followers) introduce us to the beloved, super cute pet who gives them life (and snuggles) behind the scenes. Season one of The Dodo’s You Know Me...Now Meet My Pet premiered in July 2019 as an IGTV-first series. 

Seeker’s “Seeker BABY”
Premieres May 10, 2020 on Mother’s Day 

There are numerous schools of thought on children, from how they are conceived to the way they’re born to how they develop. Seeker’s new series connects all Facebook parent communities around factual and researched information about pregnancy, childbirth and newborns. In this new show, “Seeker BABY,” Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson (2.6M Instagram followers) breaks down what we actually know about babies, from a scientific point of view, designed for new and expecting parents seeking reliable information about the science of parents and children. 

Seeker’s “TUSKS TO TAILS,” starring Evan Antin
Premieres June 2020 

Tusks, trunks, claws, tails. Animals have evolved in ways to adapt to their environment by developing some truly unusual physical traits. Why did elephants develop a trunk, and how does it even work? What are insect wings made of? How are tails used throughout the animal kingdom? Our host, wildlife veterinarian Evan Antin (1.3M Instagram followers) takes us on a virtual tour of the animal kingdom to answer these questions and more about the strange world of animal physiology. 

NowThis’ “Faces and Heels”
Premieres Q2 2020 

Faces and Heels will chronicle the journey of seven different women at varying stages of their wrestling careers as they prepare for the most important shows of their lives. The series features a creator-host to be announced soon and will focus on wrestlers such as a promising young rookie barely out of wrestling school, an indie star on the verge of being signed, to a respected, beloved veteran, signed with a major company who’s learning the ropes of being in the big league. From their trials and tribulations on the road, to their hopes and dreams for the future, NowThis’ “Faces and Heels” explores the day-to-day life of a woman wrestler on the independent scene, on the big stage, and the hurdles they face in a male-dominated profession. 

Seeker’s “Wild Crimes”
Premieres Q3 2020
 
Across the globe, elephants are poached for their tusks, pangolins for their scales, and totoaba fish for their bladders. Tackling the fourth largest crime industry in the world isn’t easy, but biologists, roboticists, detectives and even NASA scientists are getting creative in the hopes of making a difference. Today, they’re busting rhino horn smuggling rings using machine learning maps, tracking down illegal rainforest logging with cellular bioacoustics and tricking turtle poachers with 3D-printed smart eggs. In this docu-series, Seeker investigates true stories of wildlife crime and meets the people who are working to protect the world’s most endangered and persecuted animals. 

Thrillist’s “Wrestling with Wine”
Premieres Q3 2020 

Everyone wants to get into wine, but a lot of the time it seems a little too swanky and boring. In Thrillist’s new series (creator-host to be announced soon), viewers can vicariously become winos as they watch New York’s most knowledgeable sommelier teach the most unlikely of students, professional wrestlers. A truly odd pairing will make for an incredibly entertaining learning experience as the rambunctious world of wrestling gets a crash course in wine. 

NowThis’ “WRONGFUL CONVICTION
Premieres Q3 2020 

In collaboration with Jason Flom’s popular “WRONGFUL CONVICTION” podcast, NowThis’ weekly series dives deep into individual stories of people fighting for their freedom after being wrongfully incarcerated. We hear stories directly from formerly (and occasionally, currently) incarcerated men and women about what it’s like to be locked up for a crime they didn’t commit. Throughout each episode, Flom talks to legal experts, forensic pathologists, and family members bringing the entire case to light and helping to explain the criminal justice system in the U.S. 

Thrillist’s “ACQUIRED TASTE” with Tim DeLaGhetto
Premiered Sunday, December 22, 2019

Tim DeLaGhetto (1.5M Instagram followers) is no stranger to exotic food. He has a theory - if he eats the parts of animals most people don't, it will make him more powerful. In this new Thrillist show, Tim interviews a squeamish guest as they try dishes most people avoid at all costs and power up. Tim carefully pairs each dish to his guest: crickets because they feed them to their pet snake, or chicken feet because of all the times they chickened out on crazy adventures. From live octopus at Flushing's Sik Gaek to silkworm at LA's Jitlada, Tim will deliver an interview rarer than the food that's crawling on the table. Together, they learn about how the dish came about, why it's culturally important, and try it for themselves."

About Group Nine:
Group Nine’s mission is to tell great stories that spark action and make a real difference. As the #1 video publisher on mobile in the U.S. [Nielsen DCR, March 2020], Group Nine’s brands are built for the platforms where young people spend the majority of their time. We reach over 70% of Americans in their 20s every month [Nielsen DCR, March 2020]. Audiences spend nearly 70 million hours a month engaging with our category-defining brands [platform analytics, March 2020] - NowThis, the no. 1 most-watched news and politics brand globally on social [Tubular, February 2020]; The Dodo, the #1 media brand for reach on mobile in the U.S. [Nielsen DCR, November 2019]; POPSUGAR, the #1 most engaged-with Women’s Lifestyle site [Comscore, February 2020]; Thrillist, the most-trusted digital brand in food, drink, travel & entertainment; and Seeker, the no. 1 science brand on mobile in the U.S. [Nielsen DCR, February 2020]. Group Nine has been recognized with hundreds of prestigious awards including Edward R. Murrow, James Beard, Cannes Lion, Critic’s Choice, among others.

About Facebook Watch:
Facebook Watch is a place to discover and enjoy video on Facebook. Home to a wide range of video – from scripted comedy and drama, to competition and reality series, to individual creators and live sports – Facebook Watch is a destination where content, community and conversation come together. This is a personalized viewing experience, where you can discover new content based on what your friends are watching, and catch up on the shows you follow. Facebook Watch is available for free on mobile apps across Apple and Android, on desktop, laptop and on TV apps listed HERE. 

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CONTACT:

Pierce White

Group Nine Media

(646) 561-3345

(646) 561-3345

(646) 561-3345

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