Streaming is so hot right now. Hulu just bought Seinfeld for $180 million and streaming rights to all future AMC programs for an undisclosed sum, and Netflix basically invented the current model of serving up entire new seasons for gluttonous binge-watching with House Of Cards. And now, because its business model could be described as “see what everybody else is doing, and then do that,” NBC has decided to immediately offer all 13 episodes of Aquarius in conjunction with its two-hour premiere on May 28, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series, which follows David Duchovny as an L.A. Police Sergeant investigating that lovable scamp Charles Manson, will be simultaneously available on air, NBC.com, the NBC app, and video on demand.
“With Aquarius we have the opportunity to push some new boundaries to give our audience something no broadcast network has done before,” says NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, describing television much in the same way that Cain described the drug Nuke in Robocop 2. “We are fully aware how audiences want to consume multiple episodes of new television series faster and at their own discretion,” Greenblatt continued, confirming that what America wants is to watch an entire season of TV the same way it eats an entire Domino’s pizza: in a single sitting, moderately inebriated, free from distractions and prying eyes, in its Hello Kitty bathrobe.
While CBS has previously struck deals with Amazon, those were single-episode streaming models; this will be the first time a broadcast network makes a full season available all at once. If successful, it could pave the way for other scripted series to get a similar release. Of course, making an entire series available at one shot does create some complications for the networks, like figuring out how to unceremoniously cancel promising new shows that fail to find immediate, widespread appeal.