Massive Leak of Pre-Air TV Shows: Piracy or Promotion?

Several TV shows from the upcoming TV season have leaked to BitTorrent over the past week. Weeds, Chuck, The Sarah Connor Chonicles, Pushing Daisies, Californication, Brotherhood and Dexter, to name a few. It makes you wonder, Is this the work of hardcore pirates or just a new form of promotion by the TV studios?

weedsMost shows are rips from preview and review DVDs sent out by the studios to several media outlets and TV editors. Even though there is no hard evidence that these shows are leaked on purpose, the leaks will definitely get the hype going on the Internet. Unofficial, pre-air reviews are already popping up at several places on the Internet.

The Sarah Connor Chonicles, Pushing Daisies, Californication, Reaper, and Chuck are new TV shows that are about to start on their first season. The leak of The Sarah Connor Chonicles, highly anticipated by fans of The Terminator, stands out because this show is scheduled to launch in 2008. All the other leaks will air within the next few months.

For Weeds, it’s the second time that episodes have leaked before being aired on TV. Last year, exactly the same thing happened and thousands of people downloaded and watched the first episodes before they aired on TV. TV studios already offer a number of pilot episodes on the iTunes Store for free. Would it be too big a leap to assume they do the same on BitTorrent?

Here’s a list of the TV shows that leaked to BitTorrent this week, including the ‘offline’ air date:

  • Weeds: (season 3) scheduled to air on August 13, 2007
  • Chuck: (season 1) scheduled to air on September 24, 2007
  • The Sarah Connor Chonicles: (season 1) scheduled to air on early 2008
  • Pushing Daisies: (season 1) scheduled to air on September 26, 2007
  • Californication: (season 1) scheduled to air on July 24, 2007
  • Reaper: (season 1) scheduled to air on September 25, 2007
  • Brotherhood: (season 2) scheduled to air on September 30, 2007
  • Dexter: (season 2) scheduled to air on July 29, 2007
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