New Video-Streaming Apps Turn TV Stars into Phone Friends

"Scandal" star Joshua Malina has a brand-new video gig. So do "Today" weathercaster Al Roker, "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt and CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter.

Now viewers can catch a glimpse of them, along with such programs as "Late Night" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," in a new way -- live, impromptu and often charmingly artisanal.

And they're not the only ones.

It seems like only yesterday (and pretty much was) that Periscope and Meerkat burst on the scene, live video-streaming apps that work on iPhones.

Suddenly, everyone, from Jimmy Fallon and Tyra Banks to, well, someone like you can stream live video. And Periscope users can upload their video streams for on-demand playback over the next 24 hours.

No longer will your public, such as it is, be deprived of watching you in real time doing whatever you do as conveyed by your phone.

(And what a few of you may do, or try, is sharing copyrighted material -- like the wildly popular HBO fantasy drama "Game of Thrones," which was carried on Periscope accounts by pirating users holding their iPhones up to their TV screens. HBO sent "take down notices" to the Twitter-owned Periscope, which said it complies with U.S. copyright law and will respond to valid requests.)

While viewers watch what you "broadcast," they can respond to you with instant text messages.

If that's not sufficiently wondrous (or appalling -- yes, at least one person has broadcast live from his commode), consider what this means for the celebrity world, and for TV stars in particular, who suddenly have, in the palms of their hands, the ability to engage their fans through this newfangled brand of backstage video.

In the few weeks since these apps arrived, early adopters include "Late Night," which has shared its band warming up; "Ellen," which puts viewers literally behind the...

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