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This Fall’s TV Shows: Now on P2P Networks

This summer’s TV season has barely started, but net-savvy TV fans are already downloading pilots of shows slated to premiere this fall. A whole bunch of pilots have found their way onto torrent sites in recent days, and file sharers are having heated debates about shows that in some cases still go by their working titles. As always, the sources of the leaks are unknown, but one can suspect that at least some of the shows received some inside help.

Of course, leaks like these are unfortunate if a show has been running into trouble during production. The pilot for ABC’s remake of the UK crime drama Life on Mars was shot in Los Angeles, but ABC decided to relocate the whole show and reshoot in New York. The L.A. pilot still found its way online where it got less than stellar reviews. Other shows are doing far better online, which could help them to build a fan base ahead of the fall TV season. So what can we expect coming this fall, and what are file sharers thinking about these shows?

Here’s a quick overview of pilots that are already available online, complete with a quick show summary and some candid commentary. Sorry, quotes of various file sharers aren’t attributed, but we didn’t want to get anyone in trouble for writing, linking or downloading this stuff. That’s what Google is for. That said, it’s time for some pilots and verdicts, as found on file-sharing web sites:

Do Not Disturb aka The Inn: The title of this “hilarious workplace comedy set at one of New York City’s hottest and hippest hotels” is not set in stone yet. FOX wants to premiere the show this fall and got Jason Bateman to direct the pilot, which leaked on June 20. File sharers didn’t think it was all that funny. Their brutal verdict: “Early cancellation.”

Fringe:new Sci-Fi show from J.J. Abrams that will premiere Sept. 9 on FOX. The pilot for the show leaked on on June 14, and the web has been buzzing ever since, with one P2P user proclaiming: “Looks very promising! Another Supernatural!”

Leverage: An upcoming TNT show that “follows a team of thieves, hackers and grifters who act as modern-day Robin Hoods”, says the network’s web site, which doesn’t provide any air date yet. The Leverage pilot leaked on June 23 and got lots of compliments from file sharers — compliments that read like this: “OMFG I’m sooo excited.”

Life on Mars is ABC’s attempt to copy the BBC’s success of a crime drama with the same title. The premiere is planed for this fall, the pilot leaked on June 18, and the verdict is already in: “Fail.”

Pretty/Handsome is an upcoming FX show about a family guy who realizes that he is transsexual. The network hasn’t said anything about when it will air, but the pilot leaked on June 20 and got some homophobic reactions from file sharers. Others disagreed: “Screw the rest of you, this looks awesome.”

Raising the Bar: The show “follows the lives and cases of young lawyers who have been friends since law school,” according to TNT, where it premieres this September. The pilot leaked on June 21, but the P2P world remains skeptical. Says one file sharer: “Just what we need, another legal drama.”

True Blood: HBO’s new fall drama “tells the story of a group of vampires who settle in a small town in Louisiana”, according to, and is scheduled to premiere on Sept. 7. The True Blood pilot leaked on the June 16 and didn’t bode so well with file sharers. Says one: “Southern does not equal brain-dead hillbilly. Terrible show.”

14 Responses to “This Fall’s TV Shows: Now on P2P Networks”

  1. Buzz Out Loud mentioned this article last week on their podcast. I think releasing shows via a beta pilot service (as BOL mentioned) would be a great idea. The pirated route may not be the best way to go, but I think networks need to get feedback from more than just focus groups. I am always beta testing software and feel like this would be a great thing.

  2. Harry Bring

    True Blood looks promising; Raising the Bar has potential = leave it to Steve Boshco; Leverage is a kick – hope it makes it; Pretty Handsome is quirky but really well done; Life on Mars – its been done better by the BBC. Why bother.

  3. Interesting story Janko, though I’m not sure that I agree giving attention to piracy like this is doing anything other than wasting time that could be better spent writing about the shows themselves.

    I said as much in a post on my site, based on what you’ve got here (and linked.) Good thoughts though and I really do love a lot of the content you guys have over here.

    Keep it up.