Utilizing crowd funding to raise money for the show that made him famous, Chris Hansen will launch a Kickstarter page next week to generate funds for a new show called “Hansen vs. Predator.” According to the L.A. Times, Hansen’s initial target goal is roughly $100,000 shy of half a million and will mark the first time that the Internet-based crowd funding platform will be used to raise money to revive an existing television franchise.
It’s extremely likely that the new show will closely follow the same format that attracted viewers to the original. If unfamiliar with the original concept, the basis for “To Catch a Predator” was filming men that were lured to a household in hopes of have sexual relations with an underage girl or boy. These individuals were usually lured in through Internet chat rooms and ultimately had to face a barrage of uncomfortable questions from Hansen. In addition, the show worked with local law enforcement to film the arrest of these individuals as they exited the home.
Speaking about the potential for reviving the series during a recent interview, Hansen said “There is a pent-up demand from viewers for another investigation. And from a technology standpoint, the landscape has really changed since we did the last one…When we did it before, there were chat rooms on AOL and Yahoo. Now there are 22 ways to communicate online.”
Hypothetically, the show’s producers could implement a number of mobile apps into the show, such as Snapchat or Instagram, as well as video chatting tools, such as Skype or Apple’s Facetime. The show may even go as far as developing elaborate social media pages on Twitter and Facebook to lure in more men and women.
Shifting to the online space may open up more liability for Hansen though. While the show was very popular for NBC, the network ran into multiple situations where advertisers pulled out due to the somewhat controversial material. It attracted even more negative attention when a target of the show’s attention shot himself after police showed up to discuss charges related to pedophilia. The family of that target sued NBC and the show went off the air roughly six months after the resolution of that lawsuit.
Of course, the popularity of the show hasn’t waned over the years. It’s still used in jokes by current comedians, on popular animated shows like South Park and even immortalized in Internet meme form. If interested in the return of “To Catch a Predator,” you will be able to find more information on the landing page for the new show as well as the Kickstarter campaign page that launches on Wednesday, April 15.
Rewards for contributing to recreating the old show haven’t been announced as of yet, nor have the stretch goals that could expand the total number of episodes that can be created from the initial funding. Hansen hasn’t announced a platform to distribute the new episodes either. It’s possible that the show could end up on a subscription-based or pay-per-play platform for anyone that doesn’t contribute to the crowd funding campaign.