Wait, what — Influencer Lagoon doesn’t exist? No, the reality show is actually fictional!
Throughout the month of March, fans were bamboozled by ABC’s fake reality show Influencer Lagoon. During the month, the network aired a promo clip for the apparent show, which would be hosted by Mads Lewis and Alan Chow.
“They’re the best at selfies. At hashtags. At #SponCon. But there can only be one next great influencer,” the pair said during the 15-second clip. “It’s time for Influencer Lagoon.”
It wasn’t until Thursday, March 17, that the reality behind the promo was revealed. While Mads and Alan did, kind of, host the reality show, it turned out that the series was part of the plot for the already-existing ABC series Home Economics.
“We weren’t gonna have a trailer for it originally, even in the episode. And then when we were shooting, production built such an elaborate set of this desert island that [Influencer Lagoon] took place on that we were like, let’s shoot some promotional footage for this,” Home Economics star Topher Grace told Entertainment Weekly about the elaborate ruse. “We shot these promo elements, and then I took a leap and sent the raw footage that we had, the promo footage and some of the stuff from the show to ABC and said, ‘Would you guys just cut a trailer? We’ll put it in the episode.’ The same people who cut the ads for The Bachelor cut this trailer. They did the logo and everything.”
Once the fake trailer was revealed, they decided to run the ad — the Home Economics team also “leaked it to Reddit” to get some more buzz.
“My favorite part on tonight’s episode of Home Economics is when the host is like, ‘We’ve seen how you influence humans, but now it’s time to influence animals. In this tent are six horses, nature’s original influencers — now get in there and get those manes on fleek!’ It’s so bizarre,” Topher also told EW. “That’s why I’m digging that people thought it was real, because when people see that, they’ll be like, ‘Oh man, I really should have known this wasn’t real.'”
Alan, for his part, shared behind-the-scenes photos via Instagram Thursday night alongside a caption that read, “Surprise!!! Our show Influencer Lagoon is actually a part of ABC’s sitcom Home Economics,” noting that he had “so much fun” on set.
Lesson learned: Don’t believe everything you see on the internet.
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