It’s not TV — it’s YouTube. HBO has released the full pilot for its new half-hour series How to Make It In America, set to premiere this Sunday, on a number of digital platforms for free, including YouTube and iTunes, through Feb. 20.
Created by the team behind the pay network’s smash hit series Entourage, the pilot starring Bryan Greenberg, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and Luiz Guizman, is tracking on Viral Video Chart despite not being available for embedding — it’s currently at approximately 43,000 views. Rated TV-MA, it’s blocked on YouTube if you’re not signed into your account.
Last year, Showtime took a similar approach to previewing The United States of Tara before its premiere, which was embeddable, racked up over 500,000 views on YouTube in the first 24 hours, and went on to premiere the following week with 881,000 total viewers, one of the pay network’s best-ever premieres.
Tara‘s triumverate of big names (Steven Spielberg, Toni Collette, Diablo Cody) carries a lot more weight than Mark Wahlberg behind the scenes and that girl from A Knight’s Tale on screen, and the show was also out on considerably more platforms, including AOL, Netflix, Joost and Veoh. HBO has other possible distribution plans pending for the HTMIIA pilot, though, and the important number is the one from next Sunday.