Sherri Shepherd, Cameron Mathison to Lead OSCAR.com's BACKSTAGE PASS Special
The Academy and Disney/ABC Television Group's Digital Media team have unveiled the talent lineup for their Emmy Award-winning Oscar second screen experience, Backstage Pass, on Oscar.com and the official Oscars app. Hosts and correspondents include "The View's" Sherri Shepherd, television personality Cameron Mathison, "Modern Family's" Rico Rodriquez, Entertainment Weekly's Jess Cagle and PEOPLE's Peter Castro. The Backstage Pass will also debut a multimedia Red Carpet Digital Lounge anchored by Radio Disney's Jake Whetter, POPSUGAR's Allison McNamara and Mashable's Brian Anthony Hernandez.
The Oscars Backstage Pass is designed to be the ultimate complement to the live telecast. With more than 20 live cameras strategically placed on the Red Carpet and throughout the backstage area of the Dolby Theatre during the telecast, fans will have insider views into the most memorable moments of the night. The Backstage Pass experience launched in 2011 to much acclaim and has been recognized with an Emmy for Creative Achievement in Interactive Arts and an Industry Star Mobile Excellence Award. It remains unprecedented in terms of live event second screen access. This Backstage Pass is sponsored by Samsung, and is available for the first time on Android, including Samsung's Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 10.1 and GSIII.
"The Backstage Pass is an extension of the things we all love about watching the Oscars - it's our way of inviting fans into the celebration, and the hosts are their eyes and ears," said Karin Gilford, senior vice president of Digital Media, ABC Television Network. "I couldn't be happier with this group. Each brings with them a great depth of knowledge, and also a passion and enthusiasm for the Oscars that I know fans will respond to."
Shepherd and Mathison are returning as co-hosts of the Backstage cam. They will capture sound bites, backstage action, short interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. Shepherd is an actress, comedienne and co-host of ABC's hugely popular daytime talk show, "The View." Mathison is a multi-talented actor who splits his time between acting and hosting jobs. He currently serves as a correspondent for "Good Morning America" on ABC. The two previously hosted the 35th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
Entertainment Weekly Managing Editor Jess Cagle will interview winners as they exit the stage from the "Winners Walk" cam. Throughout his 19-year career at Time, Inc., Cagle has covered both film and television and has interviewed Hollywood's biggest celebrities. In addition to Backstage Pass, Cagle is also co-hosting the official Oscar pre-show on ABC.
This year PEOPLE is sponsoring the Oscars Fan Experience, for which Deputy Managing Editor Peter Castro will anchor with Rico Rodriquez. They will capture fan feedback as celebrity attendees arrive on the red carpet. With 18 years at PEOPLE Magazine, Castro has covered all aspects of the entertainment business. Rodriquez is best known for his role as "precocious old soul" Manny Delgado on the ABC's hit comedy "Modern Family."
Whetter, McNamara and Hernandez will anchor the first ever Red Carpet Digital Lounge. Fully equipped with multi-media monitors run from Samsung Galaxy tablets and smartphones, the Digital Lounge cam will feature commentary around the most buzzed about trends that are popping on the red carpet.
Whetter, who has co-hosted Backstage pass since it launched, will anchor the lounge. A Radio Disney on-air personality, he hosts the daily entertainment report "Celebrity Take" with Jake, as well as the "Top 30 Countdown" and the popular musical talent showcase "N.B.T." ("Next BIG Thing").
McNamara is a correspondent and producer at POPSUGAR, where she reports on the hottest celebrity moments and runway fashion trends. She has interviewed some of the biggest celebrities and designers in the world, including George Clooney, Jennifer Garner and Diane Von Furstenberg. She'll be breaking down those must-see fashion moments as they happen.
Hernandez is Mashable's entertainment reporter and, as an expert in social media, memes and viral content, he'll be helping to give context and perspective to the evenings breaking social trends. He'll contribute to both the red carpet and backstage commentary.
Oscar.com and the official Oscars app provide unparalleled access to the Oscars before, during and after the show. Fans can go behind the scenes with show host Seth MacFarlane and the producers as they prepare for the show, as well as find out more about the nominees, access rare exclusive images from The Academy's archives, and start filling out their My Picks interactive ballot. Friends can view and share the ballot on Facebook, which will update in real time on Oscar Night, ensuring that the most competitive Oscars handicappers are instantly aware of their ranking among friends. On Oscar Sunday, the Backstage Pass feature goes live from the Red Carpet to the end of the show.
Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
Photo by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.