Wednesday, July 19, 2006

NBC to Make Shows Available on Netflix Before Broadcast

In a bold move, NBC Television will be making the pilot episodes for two of their upcoming new series available for rental on the Netflix DVD rental service. According to the Netflix website a DVD with the pilots for both "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and "Kidnapped" will be available for rental on August 8th, about 6 weeks before the new television season starts.

Here are the descriptions of the shows:

"Kidnapped"
Ellie (Dana Delany) and Conrad Cain (Timothy Hutton) experience every parent's nightmare when their 15-year-old son is kidnapped and they must enlist a rescue expert (Jeremy Sisto) to save him. As the hours race by, secrets and motives begin leaking from every direction. In the same style as "24," the TV drama series is told from various perspectives


"Studio 60"
Network president Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet) is emphatic about the reformation of a dysfunctional late-night sketch show and recruits reputable writers Matt Albie (Matthew Perry) and Danny Trip (Bradley Whitford) to redeem Studio 60. Aaron Sorkin gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what really happens when the camera stops rolling in this TV drama series.


I have been looking forward to Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60" show with it's dramatic look at a fictional "Saturday Night Live," and I have already added the DVD to my queue. I might as well see if I like "Kidnapped" while I am at it.

I think that this marketing effort by NBC is shear genius. It allows me, the consumer, to feel like an "insider" by offering me a screener similar to what a professional movie critic might be given. All of this, just because I am a Netflix subscriber. I don't know if Netflix is paying NBC for the privilege of offering the episodes (as they would were it a series DVD), or if NBC is merely using Netflix in a marketing effort, for that matter I don't care. What I do like is that NBC is offering me, the consumer, an opportunity to watch their show at my leisure. This is even more cool that when I was able to watch the pilot of "Brotherhood" on Shotime On Demand weeks before the pilot aired.

UPDATE:


The Hollywood Reporter also has a blurb about the release.
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