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Peacock experiments with interactive scenes to give fans a ‘Real Housewives’ deep dive • TechCrunch

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NBCUniversal’s Peacock is unveiling a new interactive video feature that will let Peacock Premium subscribers delve into extended clips, including extra footage and interviews, from within an episode of “The Real Housewives.”

From October 14-16, BravoCon attendees will be able to preview the upcoming feature by watching an episode from season 2 of “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.” As of now, the feature is only being tested on Roku devices but will gradually roll out to other devices over time.

Season three of the hit series is set to premiere next year and will be the first to have the new feature. At launch, premium subscribers can interact with three episodes of “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip,” with the option to watch extended clips and exclusive interviews.

As viewers watch the show, they will be prompted to get their remote ready for an “interactive scene” and have around 15 seconds to decide if they want to watch extended footage of that scene as well as exclusive interviews, which go deeper into what characters were thinking during that particular scene.

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“Combining culture-defining content with cutting-edge innovation, this experience is about giving fans the choice to dive deeper into the most dramatic ‘Housewives’ moments on their own terms,” John Jelley, Senior Vice President, Product & UX, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer, NBCUniversal, said in a statement.

Viewers are not required to select anything and can continue to the main story, though anyone who wants to can watch a director’s cut-like version of the episode. “This is an opt-in experience. It’s not something where we’re forcing everyone to change the way they’re watching their favorite show,” Jelley told TechCrunch. They also have the option to go back to the main story at any time.

This new “unique experience” will hopefully get new fans to the platform, Jelley added. “Now that we’re an exclusive streaming home for Bravo content, it’s an opportunity to show Bravo fans that Peacock is a great place to come for this type of content,” he said.

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell boasted last week that Peacock added over 2 million paid subscribers in the third quarter, partly due to Bravo content moving to the platform.

Since “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” is a Peacock original, the team at Bravo worked in close partnership with Peacock to film scenes specifically for the interactive feature exclusive to the platform. For instance, Peacock is exploring giving viewers the option to watch what’s happening in the next room during a scene, Jelley told us.

In a demo with TechCrunch, Jelley gave us a sneak peek of the feature. We watched the coffee reading scene in the second episode of season 2 when Dorinda invited the other cast members to her famous Bluestone Manor. Interactive scenes included extra footage of Dorinda blowing up at Brandi and exclusive interviews from Eva, Tamra, and Brandi.

Peacock continues to invest in interactive features to engage viewers further. In May, the company announced “Catch Up with Key Plays,” which lets English Premier League viewers stream highlights without disrupting the game. Peacock recently launched a “Halloween Nightmare Game,” an interactive virtual escape room game that makes the viewer click on different objects on the screen.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Meta partnering with NBCUniversal to bring the Peacock streaming app to the Meta Quest virtual reality headset.

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