Kin launches star-studded series on motherhood

Jessi Cruickshank will headline the new Facebook Watch series.
Jessi-Cruickshank-CBC

Lifestyle entertainment company Kin has partnered with Canadian actress and host Jessi Cruickshank on a new unscripted Facebook Watch series.

New Mom, Who Dis? will air globally on Kin’s digital network each week starting Wednesday. The show will focus on Cruickshank’s ever-changing life as a mom of twins, and will feature interviews, roundtables, Q&As, celebrity guests and other explorations of “all things mom.”

Rick Matthews, VP of international at Kin, tells MiC that although he believes all of Kin’s content has been appealing to the diverse millennial mom demographic, this is the first that explicitly explores the topic of moms and motherhood. Kin Community started in 2007 in L.A. and has now grown to a company with offices in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

“Moms are so much more than just moms,” says Matthews. He cited previous digital and traditional celebrities Kin has partnered on content with, such as singer/actress Jordin Sparks and actress Tia Mowry, who are also mothers, but their content hasn’t necessarily centred on that. “Their lives influence the content they create, so we’d never come out and say, ‘This is a show for moms.’” He says Cruickshank is “just inherently funny,” particularly her takes on motherhood, which has come through in previous brand work she has done.

Cruickshank will serve as a producer for the series, which represents a shift in the model for Kin, according to Matthews. Kin has generally served as a producer or co-producer, he says, but in this case it will serve primarily as a distributor and providing sales and marketing support. Brands will have the opportunity for integration within the show, and Matthews says Kin is currently in talks with a number of advertisers. He said integrations will likely be multiplatform, extending beyond Facebook to channels such as Instagram (which Facebook owns).

“We’ve been looking at all partnership models and distribution models, but Jessi is our first foray into taking a notable Canadian personality that already matches up with Kin’s audience,” he says. Past personalities such as Sparks and Mowry are U.S.-based, although Cruickshank’s previous TV work with titles such as MTV Canada’s The Hills: The After Show, which chronicled the drama on the U.S. reality-show The Hills from 2006-2010, helped her extend her reach beyond Canada.

New Mom, Who Dis? will begin with 12 episodes, although Matthews says the intention is “that this will be an ongoing series.” He says the advantage of digital, as opposed to linear television is that “we’ve gotten to say, ‘let’s work toward building this out and building a following.’ The intent for sure is to keep going past 12.”