LOS ANGELES — During the tape-delayed Primetime Creative Arts Emmys aired on Saturday, Netflix wasn’t the only web entity winning awards. A YouTube series and several TV networks’ digital media programs were honored for their achievements in multiplatform storytelling, interactivity, social TV experience as well as user experience and visual design.
Although the television academy has recognized interactive media in the past, it placed a bigger emphasis this year on the digital content and second-screen experiences from creators on platforms like YouTube or from major networks.
In addition to the four juried Emmy winners (below) in interactive categories, the Emmys added an Outstanding Interactive Program category, which ComedyCentral.com won for its Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs. The special featured Katy Perry’s viral “Firework” duet (pictured, above) with a girl living with autism.
“More than ever before, television has become an interactive medium in which the audience has a role in driving the storytelling, participating as a fan and engaging in community and sponsorship activities,” Lori Schwartz, a governor on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Interactive Media Peer Group, said in a statement earlier this month.
Here are the Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media winners:
“We are honored to be recognized for achievement in multiplatform storytelling,” Lisa Hsia, EVP of digital media at Bravo, told Mashable. “Top Chef’s Last Chance Kitchen was a wonderful confluence where great content met the desires of the fan and our partner Toyota. The digital series impacted the results of the on-air show. The second-screen participation and social conversation amplified it even further. Multiplatform storytelling turns our one-hour show into a seven-day-a-week experience.”
Top Chef‘s award-winning linear series was expanded into a comprehensive digital “buffet” and tantalizing interactive experience for foodies with the companion Last Chance Kitchen series. This component, available on web and mobile platforms, Bravo’s Now app, VOD and EST, required active input from the viewing audience, which in turn influenced and impacted events on the linear series on. Each week, as Top Chef competitors were eliminated, they got a second chance to battle that week’s winner on this digital series. Fans interacted with the contestants and judges, and even got cooking themselves to determine which of the dismissed chefs would be the last one standing in the digital series and would have a chance to appear on the Top Chef finale. 52% of Top Chef‘s on-air audience engaged in Last Chance Kitchen and experienced the series in a collaborative way.
Recipients: Bravo Production Team, Magical Elves Production Team, Bravo Digital/Social Team and Bravo Creative Team
Social TV Experience
Winner: Oprah’s Lifeclass at Oprah.com/Lifeclass
The award-winning series Oprah’s Lifeclass is a richly interactive, worldwide social experience for millions of students who participate in inspiring conversations with Oprah Winfrey on-air, online and via social media. For each class, Oprah is joined by a hand-picked expert, and together they interact with viewers to share principles and tools that can help people live more meaningful and fulfilling lives. Prior to the scheduled airing of Lifeclass on OWN, key influencers in the social sphere on that topic are given a sneak peek of the episode, and invited to participate in the Sunday night social dialogue. Lifeclass consistently ranks in the top ten “most social shows” in primetime, according to BlueFin Labs. After airing, the conversations continue throughout the social space and in a digital classroom at Oprah.com, where tools are provided to help viewers reach their own “Aha” Moments via an extensive companion curriculum, including class notes (thanks to Storify) and assessments, and Life Work questions that can be saved in their custom profile.
Recipient: OWN Digital
User Experience And Visual Design
Winner: The Nick App from Nickelodeon
The Nick App is a branded experience that allows kids to watch and play Nick in unprecedented ways. This free App features a moveable tile layout that can be swiped in any direction, promoting discovery and exploration and offering kids instant and on-demand access to more than 1,000 pieces of Nickelodeon-themed content. It includes short-form videos of original skits, sketch and comedic bits, behind-the-scenes clips and photos from Nick stars and animated characters, full episodes, polls, new games, and surprising random hilarity. The Nick App supports the full Nickelodeon on-air line up as well as specials such as the annual Kids’ Choice Awards. The App boasts new content daily and includes fun and funny interactive elements such as the “Do Not Touch” button that triggers an array of disruptive comedy and surprises. Nickelodeon’s goal was to go beyond a typical app that offers free video viewing and instead offer more interactive content, games, and video not seen on television — whenever and wherever the user wants it.
Recipients: Nickelodeon Digital
Original Interactive Program
Winner: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube from Pemberley Digital
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is the award-winning, record-breaking, modern multiplatform adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” based around a fictional vlog kept by Lizzie Bennet, a 24-year-old grad student with an uncertain future, a mountain of debt and her best friend Charlotte behind the camera. When the LBD began in April of 2012 with two videos a week posted at Lizzie’s YouTube channel, there were only four characters appearing on screen. Unbeknownst to the audience, several other characters were conversing with each other over social media which kicked off a rapidly coruscating expansion of the LBD storyworld. Characters that only existed on Twitter soon began appearing on camera and even started their own channels, with one of them posting song recommendations and movie check-ins a full 10 months before they were to ever appear on camera. Throughout the entire process, the LBD characters used their social media presence to interact with the audience, creating an addictive world of engagement, while driving important plot points for the main video through their separate channels.
Recipients: Transmedia Producer Jay Bushman, Executive Producer Bernie Su and Transmedia Editor Alexandra Edwards
On Sunday, be sure to follow Mashable’s entertainment editor Brian Anthony Hernandez, who will be providing live coverage on Twitter (@BAHjournalist) and Instagram (BAHjournalist) from the Emmys red carpet and inside Nokia Theatre during the awards ceremony.