Viewers are taking longer than ever to watch TV shows, but when it comes to news series, networks don’t have the luxury of waiting several days or weeks for audiences to sample them and decide whether or not they want to see more. That’s why the pilots for several new series are being released weeks and even months before they premiere. As I wrote at Quartz,
Broadcast networks insist that they now program year-round (and indeed, have been doing just that), but almost all of their biggest shows still debut during the same two-week period in late September and early October. This makes it especially brutal for new shows to find an audience, so the online premieres gives viewers an early opportunity to sample them and, the networks hope, get hooked and start spreading the word before the shows enter the TV equivalent of Thunderdome.
I question whether viewers who watch and like the A to Z pilot will still be interested when the show actually premieres in October, but until the broadcast networks stop premiering all their fall shows in the same two week period, they’ll need all the help they can get.