Summary:

This is a very interesting competitive move from NBC: its legal drama “Conviction,” will launch first on iTunes, available for free download…

This is a very interesting competitive move from NBC: its legal drama “Conviction,” will launch first on iTunes, available for free download, before its televised broadcast.

As part of a multiplatform launch, iTunes users can download the Dick Wolf-produced hourlong pilot in its entirety at no cost. The promotion will extend until the show’s network debut March 3, after which each episode will become available to download for $1.99 the day after it airs.

Variety: NBC is not the first net to allow potential viewers to watch a show online before its TV premiere. UPN’s “Everybody Hates Chris” bowed on Google, and the WB’s “Jack and Bobby” was first seen on AOL (but these were streaming only and not download).

Staci adds:Especially interesting since NBC didn’t allow downloads when it put the remaining episodes of “The Book of Daniel” online. NBC is desperate for a hit and Wolf’s new show — aimed squarely for the younger set with heavy promotion touting the average age of the prosecutors as 28 — may be the best bet. Add in NBC’s experience with the viral spread of SNL”s “Lazy Sunday” and it’s not hard to see why the network might try this route.

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