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NBC is taking a page out of Netflix’s playbook, adopting the all-at-once model for one of its new summer series. The same night of Aquarius’ two-hour premiere, all 13 episodes of the drama will also be released on NBC.com, the NBC app and VOD.
“With Aquarius we have the opportunity to push some new boundaries to give our audience something no broadcast network has done before,” said NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt. “We are fully aware how audiences want to consume multiple episodes of new television series faster and at their own discretion, and we’re excited to offer our viewers this same experience since all 13 episodes of this unique show have been produced and are ready to be seen. I appreciate the enthusiasm we’ve gotten from the producers of the show and our partner Marty Adelstein of Tomorrow Studios to launch this series in a new, forward-thinking way.”
As much as consumers may be getting used to the model with original series on Netflix and Amazon Prime, this is a first for broadcast. No other series has unloaded its entire run online while originals are also airing on the traditional tube. And Aquarius will still air as planned. New one-hour episodes will continue to premiere, each week in the 9 p.m. Thursday time slot, after the two-hour opener on May 28.
The episodes will only be available for the first four weeks of the run. And it makes sense considering producers have cut two versions of the series. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that one will be more broadcast friendly with the other intended to push the envelope on streaming.
Aquarius, starring David Duchovny as homicide detective Sam Hodiak, is a period piece set in 1967 Los Angeles — focusing on the two years leading up to the Manson murders. Emma Dumont, Grey Damon and Gethin Anthony also star.
This marks the latest way that the broadcast networks are trying to switch things up in the rollout of their summer scripted efforts. Two years ago, CBS made its first streaming pact with Amazon for episodes of Beyond the Dome — a move it duplicated with Extant and will take over to Netflix with this summer’s Zoo. Still, those series were released episode by episode.
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