USA Network went wide with its streaming-first strategy for its new series “Mr. Robot,” and scored big. It racked up 2.7 million online views of the pilot episode, which was made available on a multitude of digital and VOD platforms four weeks prior to its cable debut.
Today, it’s common for networks to try to build buzz for new series by premiering pilots online prior to their linear TV debuts, but what made the “Mr. Robot” digital preview unique was the breadth of the roll-out.
Beginning on May 27, USA made the pilot available via on demand platforms including Xfinity On Demand, USANetwork.com, the USA Now app (iOS, Android, XBOX One), Hulu, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu, XBOX Video, and M-GO. The pilot was also available on Twitch, IMDb, EW.com, THR.com, Telemundo, Terra.com, Latina.com, The Verge.com and 22 sites within Crave Online.
It was buttressed by social media campaign on Twitter, where it generated 97K related tweets and #MrRobot trended nationally, reaching the top organic spot on the trending topics list.
As a result, audiences were primed when the show finally had its USA Network debut last Wednesday with back to back showings of the pilot at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., which attracted a combined 3.7 million viewers, making it one of the top five basic cable drama premieres in 2015 among people ages 18 to 49.
Produced by Universal Cable Productions, “Mr Robot” was created by Sam Esmail (“Comet”), who also serves as executive producer alongside Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin (“True Detective”) and Chad Hamilton (“Breakup at a Wedding”).
The series stars Rami Malek (“The Pacific”), as a young programmer working as a cyber-security engineer by day and as a vigilante hacker by night who is recruited by the mysterious leader of an underground hacker group (Christian Slater) to destroy the firm he is paid to protect. It also stars Portia Doubleday (“Her”), Carly Chaikin (“Suburgatory”) and Martin Wallström (“Simple Simon).