NBC is hoping to give sophomore drama Aquarius an extra boost when it returns in June.
The David Duchovny-led series, which centers on the hunt for Charles Manson in the late 1960s, will kick off with an ad-free, two-hour premiere on Thursday, June 16, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The sole ad during the two-hour season premiere will be a one-minute local news break during the second hour. The June 16 telecast will be the only chance for viewers to watch the season premiere sans commercials. The episodes will air with commercials when they head to online and digital platforms.
The following week, Aquarius will move to its regular timeslot of Thursdays at 10 p.m.
This is the latest out-of-the-box approach NBC has used to attract viewers to Aquarius. Last year, for the first time ever, the network made all 13 season-one episodes available to watch on VOD and streaming the day that the series premiered. The episodes remained available for the first four weeks of the series’ run.
However, Aquarius drew tepid numbers and was eventually moved, along with the since-canceled Hannibal, from Thursdays to Saturdays. When it returns this summer, the drama will join an unscripted-heavy slate that includes reality competitions like America’s Got Talent, as well as the new variety show Marty & Maya.
In its season-two announcement, NBC noted the number of upscale viewers that tuned in for the first season.
In addition to Duchovny, Grey Damon, Gethin Anthony, Emma Dumont, Claire Holt, Michaela McManus, Brian F. O’Byrne, Chance Kelly, Ambyr Childers, Madisen Beaty and Cameron Deane Stewart also star. The series hails from executive producers John McNamara (The Magicians), Marty Adelstein (Teen Wolf), Becky Clements (Last Man Standing), Melanie Greene and Duchovny. Aquarius is produced by Tomorrow Studios.