11:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
Starz Jumps on Binge Bandwagon With 'Da Vinci’s Demons' and 'Flesh and Bone'
Binge-watching is for everyone. The all-at-once release strategy pioneered by Netflix and Amazon, and adopted by NBC's Aquarius this summer, has found its way to pay cable. Starz announced Friday its plans to stream all episodes of two series this fall.
The third and final run of Da Vinci's Demons and the limited series Flesh and Bone will both be made available to Starz subscribers on Starz Play and Starz On Demand in the U.S. starting with their respective premiere dates — Oct. 24 and Nov. 8. "Starz has had a fantastic year with original programming in 2015 and we are rewarding our Starz subscribers with two special opportunities to immerse themselves into quality series and enjoy them on their own schedules," said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.
It should be noted that the network picked two very specific projects for its dabbling with a binge release. Neither show will have a life beyond this fall's respective runs, so there won't be any wait for another season.
"The great and passionate followers of Da Vinci’s Demons have been waiting since the spring of last year for new episodes, while the gritty world of ballet as depicted in the Flesh and Bone limited series is must-see television for fans of the genre and great television alike," added Starz exec vp of program planning David Baldwin. "Both series are engaging and well-suited for a binge viewing experiment. In the busy fall television season, we thought this was a terrific benefit for Starz subscribers who want to get a jump and enjoy the complete series on their own time and schedule, with the first two seasons of Da Vinci’s Demons already available on Starz Play and Starz On Demand."
Releases like these do make the success of a series more of a speculation game. Aquarius, the first linear show to dump all episodes online at once, languished in its primetime slot — so much so that NBC moved the show to Saturdays. The streaming stats, which NBC has yet to release, seem to be compelling though. The network is still moving ahead with a sophomore season.