Fox is making the premiere episode of it's freshman comedy New Girl available for free download via iTunes immediately (and keeping it free until the day before the show's premiere on Sept. 20).
In an interview with Variety, Fox's President of Marketing And Communications Joe Earley discounted the ratings dampening effect of such a move noting:
[Earley] contends that early watchers more than offset themselves given the social media-driven word of mouth that will come out of the experiment. "Hopefully, with that echo effect, we can bring in more viewers to the premiere than the number we've potentially lost for the first week,"
That begs the obvious question, will this move help New Girl's premiere ratings or is Joe drinking the social media kool-aid? (it's a given if the premiere ratings disappoint, we've got a brand new square for Fan Excuse Bingo)
Here's Fox's press release:
DEBUT EPISODE OF FOX’S NEW COMEDY “NEW GIRL” AVAILABLE NOW
FOR FREE DOWNLOAD EXCLUSIVELY ON ITUNES
New Comedy is First Broadcast Network Series to be Made Available on iTunes
In Advance of Primetime Premiere
NEW GIRL Premieres Tuesday, September 20, on FOX
NEW GIRL, the new comedy series from executive producer and writer Liz Meriwether (“No Strings Attached”) and starring Zooey Deschanel (“(500) Days of Summer”), will be the first broadcast network series to offer its debut episode on iTunes prior to its televised premiere. The episode will be available for free on iTunes (www.itunes.com) from today until Monday, Sept. 19. NEW GIRL premieres the following day,Tuesday, Sept. 20 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT), on FOX.
In the debut episode, JESS DAY (Deschanel) discovers her long-term boyfriend is cheating on her and decides to move into a loft apartment with three male roommates – prickly bartender NICK (Jake Johnson), womanizer SCHMIDT (Max Greenfield) and intense personal trainer COACH (guest-star Damon Wayans, Jr.). The guys, alongside Jess’ childhood best friend CECE (Hannah Simone), try to help Jess get back on her feet and into the dating world.
NEW GIRL is produced by Chernin Entertainment in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series is created and written by Liz Meriwether. Meriwether, Jake Kasdan (“Bad Teacher”), Peter Chernin (TERRA NOVA), Katherine Pope (TERRA NOVA), Dave Finkel (“United States of Tara,” “30 Rock”) and Brett Baer (“United States of Tara,” “30 Rock”) are executive producers. Kasdan directed the debut and will continue to direct episodes of the series.
Free iTunes download is available with closed captioning.