Nickelodeon to Air Two Virtually-Produced Series This Summer

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the entertainment industry as we know it, as countless film and TV productions are shut down for the foreseeable future. As a result, networks have had to get creative with their content -- and it looks like Nickelodeon is doing so in a very specific way. The family-friendly network has reportedly greenlit Group Chat: The Show and Game Face, two interactive series that will be entirely virtually produced.

Group Chat: The Show will be hosted by Side Hustle stars Annie LeBlanc and Jayden Bartels. The six-episode series also will feature Hayley LeBlanc (Mani), along with fan-favorite stars, as they talk about the hottest trend topics of the week based on what kids are currently discussing across social media, play games and compete in challenges – all via video chat.

In the six-episode Game Face, celebrities’ true identities are hidden behind an animated filter and voice changer, while a star-studded panel is given wacky clues and competes to decipher the mystery guest. Viewers can participate by downloading the show’s filters to transform into the same characters as their favorite celebrities. A host will be announced at a later date, and the series will begin remote production this month.

Group Chat: The Show and Game Face will bring together kids’ favorite celebrities and topics in a format meant to live across all Nickelodeon screens,” Ashley Kaplan, Senior Vice President, Digital Studios, said in a statement. “The virtual filming of these shows will provide the fun escape kids crave, but also let them know that we understand what they’re going through and are listening to what they have to say.”

Production of Group Chat: The Show and Game Face for Nickelodeon is overseen by Ashley Kaplan, Senior Vice President, Digital Studios; Luke Wahl, Vice President, Digital Studios; and Paul J. Medford, Vice President, Unscripted Current Series.

While many established shows are having to cut their seasons short due to the pandemic, some are trying to get creative utilizing new formats. The drama series All Rise recently aired a season finale that was filmed entirely through video chat, while The Blacklist recently announced that it will be using animation to bring unfilmed scenes to life in its season finale.

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Group Chat: The Show is set to premiere on Saturday, May 23 at 8:30/7:30 CST. Game Face will debut on Saturday, June 13, at 8:30/7:30 CST.

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