December 27, 2011 10:02am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Showtime Offers 'House of Lies' Premiere Early (Video)
No lie here: Showtime is offering the premiere of its upcoming Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell comedy House of Lies early.
In a bid to increase sampling, the premium cable network is following a trend that worked well for its Golden Globe-nominated drama Homeland and offering the dark comedy early to viewers via its official Web site, YouTube and on demand, in addition to smart phones and tablets.
The model worked well for Homeland, which was offered more than two weeks early online and went on to become Showtime’s highest-rated drama premiere in eight years, with 1.08 million viewers at 10 p.m. besting the series bows of The Borgias (1.06 million) and Shameless (982,000).
Offering premieres early online has become more frequent this television season, as the CW made rookie dramas Hart of Dixie and The Secret Circle available ahead of their debuts, as did Fox with its Zooey Deschanel comedy, New Girl. All three series went on to earn full-season pickups.
House of Lies, a dark comedy about big business, premieres Sunday, Jan. 8 at 10 p.m.
Watch the premiere below.