Facebook Renews Simon Fuller's 'SKAM Austin' for Season 2

Screengrab/Facebook
'SKAM Austin'

The teen drama, an adaptation of a digital series that first gained popularity in Norway, hails from Fuller's XIX Entertainment.

Facebook is going back to Austin, Texas. 

The social network has ordered a second season of teen drama SKAM Austin, executives revealed Wednesday during their time in the hot seat at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.

SKAM Austin, based on a popular Norwegian digital series, uses transmedia storytelling techniques to unfold the drama in the lives of American teenagers. This means that the plot doesn't just unfold during the approximately half-hour weekly episodes but also in "real time" through short video clips and characters' Instagram profiles.

The first episode of SKAM Austin has had 14 million views since it first became available two months ago on video platform Facebook Watch. Facebook does not disclose additional metrics like how many people watched a full episode or the average number of viewers across an entire episode. 

"SKAM is a shining example of what social video can be when there is a seamless integration of technology and content on Facebook," said Ricky Van Veen, who oversees global creative strategy for Facebook and is one of the executives behind the launch of nearly 1-year-old Watch. "We're thrilled to bring back this special show and continue to break new ground with SKAM's incomparable format."

SKAM Austin hails from Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment. Fuller executive produces the series alongside Julie Andem, Per Blankens and Sarah Heyward. Andem, the writer and director of the original SKAM, has teamed with Girls writer Heyward to co-write the series. Andem also serves as director. The cast is made up of a group of primarily newcomers.

"I'm delighted to be producing a second season of SKAM Austin with Facebook," said Fuller. "This is a new way of storytelling in America; it's intimate and immersive. The idea of a scripted show playing out in real time is difficult and complex to produce so we're lucky to have the original Norwegian team helping shape it with such diligence and attention." 

He continued: "Facebook Watch has been the perfect partner in developing SKAM Austin, it's a platform that connects people, sparks conversation and fosters community. We've started to see significant teen engagement across America. The audience is seeking out SKAM Austin and so we're optimistic about what we will achieve in the second season."

SKAM Austin was one of Facebook's first scripted originals, alongside Kerry Washington-produced Five Points and drama Sacred Lies. The social network has been on a buying spree over the last few months, adding dark comedies Queen America and Sorry for Your Loss to its slate. It also has a scripted soccer drama from executive producer Cristiano Ronaldo in the works.