MTV launching short-form versions of Punk'd and Singled Out

Once in a great while, a TV show comes along that enters our collective cultural lexicon. For people of a certain generation, that was MTV‘s celebrity prank show Punk’d, whose title has become a verb in its own right. Now, a new generation will have the opportunity to experience that… and no, you’re not being punk’d.

MTV Studios announced Tuesday that two of the channel’s most iconic shows, Punk’d and the dating game show Singled Out, will be “reimagined” for Quibi, the short-form streaming platform backed by former Disney and DreamWorks executive Jeffrey Katzenberg. Twenty new episodes of each will be produced, all under 10 minutes in length.

“For the generation who grew up watching Punk’d and Singled Out on MTV, this represents a long overdue reboot of two well-loved shows,” Quibi advisor Doug Herzog said in a statement. “It’s also an opportunity to bring these enduring and classic MTV franchises to a brand-new audience on our exciting new platform.”

Punk’d, hosted by Ashton Kutcher in its original 2003-2007 incarnation, featured a variety of pranks being pulled on celebrities. A typical example: tricking Justin Timberlake into believing government agents were seizing his assets because of unpaid taxes. Singled Out, originally hosted by Chris Hardwick and Jenny McCarthy and aired from 1995 to 1998, featured 50 potential dates competing for the affections of a single contestant. Punk’d has been revived multiple times, most recently by BET in 2015.

Quibi, short for “quick bites,” is scheduled to launch in April 2020. Pitched as a sort of Netflix tailored for mobile devices, the service will specialize in short-form content for viewers on the go. A number of projects, including a court show starring Chrissy Teigen, are in the works for the platform.

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