By Sahil Patel
With its new original comedy series “Survivor’s Remorse,” Starz is continuing the trend of premium pay-TV channels — and even some of the “lesser” cable channels — releasing a show’s pilot across digital outlets before its on-air premiere. Except, this time, instead of just that initial episode, Starz is making the first two episodes available across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and various on-demand platforms from cable and satellite TV providers.
The hope is that by giving viewers the chance to sample new content for free, they’ll get hooked and watch the rest when it airs on TV — and if they are not Starz subscribers, they’ll now be compelled to in order to watch the remaining episodes.
Along with Starz, HBO and Showtime are also known for employing this practice. For instance, HBO recently placed “The Leftovers” pilot on Yahoo Screen before its on-air debut.
Starz also did this with “The Chair,” its documentary series starring YouTuber Shane Dawson.
Executive produced by LeBron James, “Survivor’s Remorse” follows a basketball phenom who signs a multi-million dollar contract with a pro team only to find his life turned upside down by his newfound wealth and fame. Tom Werner, Maverick Carter, Mike O’Malley, Paul Wachter, and Victor Levin join James as executive producers for the series, which will run for six total episodes on Starz.
In addition to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and VOD, the first two episodes will also be available for free on Starz.com, the Starz Play app, Amazon Instant Video, Sony Entertainment Network, and Xbox Video. A week after the online debut, September 27, the series will begin its run on Starz at 9pm ET.