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Innovation

PBS experiments with screening a documentary on Facebook

The social networking site announces the webcast of a PBS documentary eight days before it hits TV. Get your popcorn and laptop ready.
Written by Melanie D.G. Kaplan, Inactive on

PBS announced yesterday that its American Experience documentary, Earth Days, would be screened on Facebook before its television broadcast. This will be the first time a major broadcaster has introduced a full-length documentary on the site, according to American Experience executives, reported in yesterday’s New York Times article.

TheEarth Days Social Screening, as Facebook is calling it, will be held Sunday, April 11, from 8 to 9:45 p.m. It will allow Facebook users to watch the film, directed by Robert Stone, eight days before it is broadcast on PBS. Users will also have an opportunity to pose questions and chat with the filmmaker and American Experience executive producer Mark Samels in real time.

“It’s an opportunity, we think, to engage with a new audience, an audience that we may not be bringing to PBS Monday nights at 9 o’clock,” said Samels in the Times article.

The film, about the early days of the environmental movement, falls just before the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22.

The webcast will use a new “social screening application” created by Brand Networks that involves a customized video player, integrated with a proprietary poll system and Facebook’s comment box, according to the Times.

You can watch a trailer for the film and RSVP for the Facebook screening here.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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