Elisabeth Murdoch's Vertical Networks Plans Snapchat Dating Show 'Parental Guidance' (Exclusive)

Parental Guidance - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Vertical Networks

Parents act as the secret wingmen for their children in this dating reality show.

Snapchat has ordered a new dating show from Elisabeth Murdoch's Vertical Networks media startup. 

Parental Guidance, in which parents serve as the secret wingmen for their children, will bow on July 24 on the app's Discover platform. 

In the show, a sort of Parental Control for the smartphone generation, parents who disapprove of their children's dating habits get the chance to not only investigate their digital dating lives but also get to set them up on a date using their child's actual dating profile. Each episode will end with the contestant going on a first date with the parent-approved partner and revealing that the parent was behind the initial messages.

"Parental Guidance is about exploring the gap between who we really are and how we choose to present ourselves to the world," says Vertical Networks CEO Tom Wright. In introducing parents and letting them see how their children have been dating, we add another layer of awkwardness." 

Launched in 2016, the Snap-backed Vertical Networks first tested the Snapchat waters with male-focused Discover channel Brother. Its first push into original show formats was dating series Phone Swap, which is now being adapted for television with veteran reality TV producer Robin Ashbrook (MasterChef). Other Vertical Networks shows include Solve and Celebrity Binge Watch.

Since launching shows on Discover, Snapchat has stacked its slate with a mix of news (Stay Tuned) and reality (The Voice on Snapchat) programming. The company also announced last October that it was creating a joint venture with NBC, through which it would develop scripted programming. The launch date for that effort, which includes projects from Mark and Jay Duplass, has yet to be announced.