HBO offers free 'Treatment'

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The doctor is in -- five nights a week.

In an attempt to generate a following for its new show, In Treatment, HBO will stream the first 15 episodes (of 43) gratis. This marks the first time the cable company will be streaming this amount of episodes for free -- and the first time it is airing a prime-time drama five nights a week.

In the series, therapist Paul Weston (played by Gabriel Byrne) treats a different patient four out of the five nights. The fifth night sees his character being treated by his own psychotherapist (played by Dianne Wiest).

"We knew this was going to be a huge challenge [in marketing the show], due to the large viewing commitment, so our goal was to lower potential entry barriers created by that commitment," said Chris Spadaccini, vp, advertising, HBO.

Given the change in viewing habits, Spadaccini said the cable network is offering episodes to fit viewers' schedules as well as to provide numerous "catch-up" possibilities.

The full-streaming episodes are deployed on HBO.com and HBO On Demand. The network is also placing the content on its podcast channel that can be downloaded on iTunes.

HBO has also created two-minute recaps for all 43 episodes. In Treatment debuted Jan. 28.
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