Facebook users will get a front-row seat to Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue at the 68th Emmy Awards on Sunday — and shortly thereafter they’ll be able to pan him up, down and sideways both literally and figuratively.
Under an exclusive partnership between Facebook and the Television Academy, Kimmel’s opening monologue will be shot in 360-degree video from the orchestra pit at the Microsoft Theater to provide a view of the entire theater, stage and audience. After his bit ends, the video will be posted on Kimmel’s Facebook page, followed by ABC Television Network and the Emmys/Television Academy page using Facebook’s cross-posting feature for multiple publishers.
Facebook will exclusively host other 360 videos from the Emmys, including a first look at the red carpet and behind-the-scenes action at the show. On mobile devices, users can move their smartphones around to survey the scene, while on desktops the 360-video view can be controlled with a mouse cursor. In addition, users can watch the 360-degree video in virtual reality using a Samsung Gear VR headset, a compatible Samsung Galaxy mobile phone and the Oculus Video app.
The social giant’s pact with the TV Academy also encompasses covers Facebook Live video. That will include behind-the-scenes content during Emmys weekend, exclusive “thank-you cam” live-streams from select category winners, and backstage moments including a look in the Emmy magazine portrait studio. On Thursday, Kimmel hosted a 30-minute Facebook Live broadcast on Thursday where he answered fan questions with sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez.
“We are thrilled to be working with Facebook on so many exciting efforts surrounding the Emmys this year,” said Television Academy president and COO Maury McIntyre. “Facebook is one of our audience’s primary platforms, and Facebook’s 360 capabilities and Live product are great ways to give television fans fresh, new insight into the behind-the-scenes action at the Emmys.”
Kimmel has more than 781,000 likes on Facebook and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” has 3.26 million, while the Emmys/TV Academy page has more than 280,000 followers and ABC has 2.36 million.
According to Facebook, individual celebrities will also use Facebook Live over the course of the weekend. Those include Anthony Anderson, presenter and nominee for best actor in a comedy series for ABC’s “Black-ish”; Felicity Huffman, nominee for actress in a limited series or movie for ABC’s “American Crime”; and Sterling Brown, nominee for supporting actor in a limited series or movie for FX’s “People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” who used Facebook Live to share his nomination reaction in July.
In addition, Facebook-owned Instagram is partnering with the TV Academy to create the official “Boomerang Booth” backstage at the awards show to capture video portraits of the winners. Instagram also will create an Emmys event channel, available only to U.S. users.
For the 2015 Emmy Awards, more than 6.9 million people had over 14 million interactions related to the Emmys on Facebook. The top social moment last year on Facebook was when Viola Davis won for actress in a drama series for “How to Get Away With Murder.”
ABC’s coverage on Sunday, Sept. 18, begins with “Countdown to the Emmy Awards: Red Carpet Live,” airing live at 4 p.m. Pacific. The kudocast is again being produced by Don Mischer Productions.
ABC will live-stream the Emmy Awards telecast online at ABC.com and through its video app, available to subscribers of participating pay-TV subscribers in the eight ABC-owned station markets and in markets covered by Hearst’s 14 ABC affiliates.