Showtime put the first episode of Season 6 of the hit CIA-Drama Homeland online December 30 in order to prevent an embarrassing two year drought. The last time an episode of Homeland aired on Showtime it was December 20,2015. According to my DVR, this first episode is supposed to air on TV, Jan 15, 2017! That means fans of the showtime series would have gone through two years before seeing a new episode!
Still, the online option is puzzling, and it’s not automatically clear if this sort of teaser helps give the new season promotion. According to torrent sites, Homeland Season 6 Episode 1 is the most downloaded show of 2017, so far! As the show highlighted piracy in 2015, that doesn’t bode well for the point it was trying to make. Similarly USA put Mr. Robot’s pilot episode on YouTube nearly one month before it’s scheduled airing date on TV.
We humans have poor attention spans. If a series puts out the pilot episode online a month or even half a month before the rest of the series is supposed to start airing weekly, wouldn’t fans prefer to watch the first episode in that order too? This is the logic I subscribe too. I don’t want to watch the first episode of Homeland now, because if I do then that means there will be a month gap between this episode and episode two, which I assume will air Jan 22, 2017.
This has sparked debates in Hollywood about whether such things should be done, and if they are done, isn’t that just giving more ammunition to the pirates? The other side of the coin here is that if more people share the content (which is the entire freaking point here) then isn’t that good no matter if they use official channels or not?
The buzz may not help the CIA drama however, because fans have struggled to like the show ever since Brody left the series. Homeland plans to end it’s run with 8 seasons.