There’s a new show out called Andy Barker PI. It’s a comedy about an accountant turned private eye. Pedigree’s good (Jane Espenson, Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter), and the reviews coming in are strong.
So they’ve scheduled it against Grey’s Anatomy and CSI.
Good: There’s no comedy in that slot on the other channels. So it has a chance of picking up those that don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy or CSI
Bad: It’s up against Grey’s Anatomy and CSI.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
Before the show has even aired once, the first six episodes are available to download from NBC.com. And special note – the first six episodes are, in fact, the entire first season. Before one episode has aired on TV.
Now, you have to watch an ad to access the show online, sure. But that’s not going to come anywhere near covering the cost. So why have they done this?
To promote the show.
With luck and a following wind, posting of the episodes on the internet will build enough word-of-mouth to encourage sampling of the show when it airs.
Will the Internet-access stop people watching it online? Yeah, some. They’re gambling that the buzz will make up for those, and add some more.
So they’ll have people sampling their show. After that, it’s down to the quality.
Not a bad gamble to make.
Of course, if you want to watch those episodes from outside the US, you’re shit outta luck.