Project Essex, produced by Lime Pictures, will be a crossover between a drama, an observational documentary and a reality show.
"Project Essex is an exciting and unique proposition. We are filming as we go so the drama will unfurl as the series progresses. This really is a living soap, which will leave our viewers on the edge of their seats," said Zai Bennett, ITV's director of digital channels and acquisitions.
"Essex is a perfect fit for Lime. The successful methods used in our factual shows like Living On The Edge and The Season will now be combined with the expertise behind Hollyoaks to create a new and exciting genre - a genuine living soap opera," added Tony Wood, creative director of Lime Productions.
"This hybrid genre between drama and reality is really exciting - it's all the fun of a soap opera only this time not even the producers know how the stories end."