Now Studio Source has confirmed through anonymous email that some of those pilots were indeed leaked by studio employees:
Well….to be specific, I didn't upload it myself. But my neighbor's kid loves swapping files through Usenet and Bittorrent sites. Actually, we've had a bit of an argument about it before. But I wanted to make sure the show got out there, and I didn't see why I couldn't help the cause. And (name withheld) was happy to do it, because he got a lot of…some kind of uploading credit. It allowed him to download other stuff he wanted.
So it may not have been part of the original marketing plan, but the employee who leaked the shows (sorry, HE didn't do it, it was his neighbor's kid) just knew that the viral-spreading power of the internet would help persuade millions of television viewers to watch the new fall season.
One major studio rep from the the initial TV Week article said they were doing everything they can to fight piracy. “Our piracy department is playing whack-a-mole with these things.” They say.
But let's face it: if the networks really felt that this was going to damage their reputation and ruin their chances of making money, they would sniff out the person that leaked the stuff and bounce his ass to the curb within the week. Has the leak been found? Has the person been fired? Of course not. Instead, the networks are letting the stuff happen. "Whack a mole" my ass: the networks are clearly using plausible deniability to let the power of the internet do their marketing for them.
However, all I need is the preview clips that have already published to tell me that most of the stuff that the networks are putting out for the new season appear to be utter crap. We've previously mentioned how "Cavemen" looks pretty terrible, but thanks to TV Week, it looks like several other shows are going to stick around for a couple of episodes and then be yanked into oblivion by ratings-addicted execs shortly after they premiere with much fanfare and advertising.
Seriously? A show about guys sitting in a car discussing their lives as they commute to work? This is the premise for an entire series? "Carpoolers" is scheduled to premiere on ABC on October 1st. Anyone care to guess how long this one will last? I'd say not more than four episodes, but with Jerry O'Connel in the cast, it might run a little longer. Maybe five episodes.
To see a preview of what the networks are considering "entertainment" for next season, go here.