House of Highlights’ Omar Raja is getting his own talk show.
Turner’s Bleacher Report, which bought House of Highlights Instagram in 2015, is producing a monthly live talk show for Twitter. Premiering on Oct. 25, “The House of Highlights Show” will run about 75 minutes per episode and will be co-hosted by CJ Toledano, a creative director on Bleacher Report’s social content team and former writer for Conan O’Brien’s late-night show.
Bleacher Report plans to produce eight episodes of “The House of Highlights Show.” The show will be shot at Bleacher Report’s offices in New York and will not have a live audience.
“Our goal is to take House of Highlights from one Instagram account to becoming a true media brand,” said Doug Bernstein, general manager of House of Highlights. “This is the next step in that evolution.”
The show is an expansion of the HoH franchise — and notably not done through HoH’s home base on Instagram. Since Bleacher Report bought the account three years ago, HoH’s Instagram audience has ballooned to nearly 11 million followers. Bleacher Report has moved to expand the franchise beyond Instagram — it has 372,000 subscribers on YouTube, but that remains a work in progress as evidenced by the scant 46,000 followers on Twitter.
“House of Highlights is about being where young people are consuming sports,” Bernstein said. “For us, the primary place has been Instagram. If you’re a kid, you may check House of Highlights on Instagram, but if you want to talk about a game in real time and see what the NBA universe is talking about, Twitter’s the place for that.”
Five people, including Raja and Toledano, are dedicated to the show. The format will be a mix of a late-night talk show and a live online stream, Bernstein said. Each episode will have a celebrity guest, starting with NBA free agent Nick “Swaggy P” Young. The co-hosts will discuss sports news and comment on games and highlights that are playing in the background, with the celebrity guest joining the cast about 10 or 15 minutes in. Typical of late night shows, the conversations will be broken up with studio segments and pre-recorded field pieces.
“It’s essentially House of Highlights’ take on what a late-night sports show could and should be,” Bernstein said. “We may bring a mentalist or a contortionist and do something that would be fun to see the guest interact with.”
Similar to Twitter’s other live video partnerships, the platform isn’t paying Bleacher Report to produce the show but is co-selling sponsorships and ads that air during the program. McDonald’s has signed on as lead sponsor for all eight episodes and will be featured in in-show integrations. Venmo and UberEats have also signed on to sponsor multiple episodes, Bernstein said.
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