By Tom Huddleston Jr.
August 30, 2017

Facebook’s plunge into original TV programming is picking up steam, as the social networking giant has debuted the first trailer for its reality show starring perhaps the most hyped family in basketball.

Called Ball in the Family, the new reality show follows Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball and his family, which includes his famously loquacious father, LaVar Ball, and two younger brothers (both of whom are high-ranked basketball prospects themselves), along with their mother, Tina. The new trailer, which appeared on Facebook on Tuesday, presents the show as revolving around a mixture of sports and family, including some relationship drama for the young Lakers guard (“Do you not trust me?” Lonzo says to his girlfriend in one short clip). Sports Illustrated noted that the show looks like “a basketball version of [Keeping Up with the Kardashians],” the popular E! network reality show.

Deadline first reported last month that Facebook was planning a reality show starring the Ball family, and now the new series is set to debut its first two episodes on Thursday. Additional episodes will start appearing on Facebook every Sunday, starting Sept. 10.

Ball in the Family is part of Facebook’s push into original TV shows, as the social network looks to continue growing its already sizable user base (over 2 billion monthly active users) by offering an expanded slate of streaming video options. Facebook launched its new Watch tab to house its original video shows earlier this year, and the company has lined up deals with entertainment creators such as BuzzFeed and Condé Nast, as well as the MLB and NASA, to fill its portfolio of video programming. The company has also debuted other unscripted shows, a TV series version of the popular “Humans of New York” blog.

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In June, it was reported that Facebook has also been working with Hollywood studios to develop original scripted TV shows. Strangers, a relationship drama executive produced by lifestyle brand Refinery 29, is set to be one of the first scripted shows to stream on Facebook, along with a reported revival of the comedy series Loosely Exactly Nicole, which MTV cancelled earlier this year after airing the show’s first season.

By delving into original series, Facebook is directly challenging other digital media giants such as Google’s YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon. Much like Facebook, Twitter has also doubled down on expanding its streaming video slate, while Apple also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion annually to develop its own original programming.

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