Most of us haven’t thought of a Halloween costume quite yet, but the Hub Network is already busy planning for the holiday. It’s set to launch its first annual Halloween Bash airing October 26, which will feature a nationwide costume competition with celebrity hosts, presenters and musical acts.
One finalist from each state, chosen from contestants’ photos uploaded to a microsite, will convene October 19 at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, CA, for a 2-hour live-to-tape show, said execs behind the bash at July’s Television Critics Association summer press tour event for Hub Network.
It’s not just a costume contest, “hence the word ‘bash,’” said executive producer Bob Bain (Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Awards, Fox’s Teen Choice Awards). “It will combine music performances and a variety of Halloween-themed elements,” he said. The goal is to tap into the “zeitgeist” on the ground, said Bain. “Music is going to be a huge part of this." Think Monster Mash and Thriller. “There’s nothing on TV that captures the energy and excitement of the holiday,” he said, and Hub Network is looking to fill that void.
The 50 state finalists will be judged initially by Bain’s team, but the event itself will have a new panel of judges. According to Hub Network CMO Dena Kaplan, preference won’t be given to established costume ideas, like superheroes and witches. They’ll be looking for contestants who “capture creativity and ingenuity,” she said. “We want to build this into a cultural, must-see event.” The audience will take part in the show as well.
The target audience for this is slightly new for Hub Network. It’s a “more sophisticated, adult skew here,” Kaplan said. With that in mind, they’re mindful that it’s still a family-oriented show. There’s a charity component as well. A “Care to Scare” initiative will allow participants to donate gently-used costumes to kids in need.