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E! Launches Live Talk Show on Facebook (EXCLUSIVE)

Facebook is getting a daily live talk show from NBCUniversal’s E! cable network, furthering the social giant’s push to bring premium programming to the Facebook Live streaming service.

Starting Monday, March 21, entertainment news and gossip series “Live From E!” will launch on Facebook Live on the network’s page on the site, shot using an Apple iPhone 6s Plus smartphone. The show, running 15-20 minute, goes live each weekday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, and also is available on eonline.com and the E! Online app.

Facebook in recent weeks has stepped up efforts to court TV networks and other media companies, sports leagues including the NFL, and celebrities to bring live content to the world’s largest social platform. Among other irons in the fire, Facebook is among the bidders for online rights to the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package. Meanwhile, Twitter’s Periscope live-streaming unit has also pursued media deals, and earlier this month exclusively hosted a special full episode of Comedy Central’s @midnight earlier this month from SXSW.

About 9 million people have liked E!’s Facebook page. This year to date, the cabler has generated more than 55 million video views on Facebook, according to John Najarian, executive VP and G.M. of E! News and Digital.

“We are looking to expand our offsite video platform by leveraging the best and newest technology available in social,” Najarian said. “By innovating the ‘Live From E!’ series and simulcasting it on the Facebook Live platform, we will continue to bring our viewers the great breaking news content and topical discussions they have always loved about the franchise, while also not sacrificing engagement and production quality.”

According to E!, “Live From E!” has been completely redeveloped for Facebook, optimized for the single-camera Facebook Live viewing platform with the E! News hosts speaking directly to viewers. The set also is getting a facelift, with a new desk to better fit the screen size and a 60-inch monitor to let the digital audience to see and hear in-show content such as B-roll, stills, commentary, questions and graphics in the same shot as the hosts’ discussion.

On Facebook Live, viewers of “Live From E!” will be invited to participate by submitting questions or comments, which will be pulled directly from E! Online’s Facebook page to be addressed on-air during the broadcast.

Recent topics on the show have included Taylor Swift posting pics with her boyfriend Calvin Harris; the aftermath of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s breakup; and reviews of Gwen Stefani’s recently released album, “This Is What the Truth Feels Like.”

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