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FTN OPINION: LEaked TV pilots for The Flash and Constantine: Accidents or ultimate focus group ploy?

July 17th, 2014 by Marc Comments

In recent weeks, two TV shows based on comic book characters have had their pilot episodes appear online well ahead of their planned televised premieres.

The CW’S The Flash and NBC’s Constantine have both been illegally released online, in the form of ripped preview copies and this begs the question, if the show’s clearly already filmed, edited and ready to go, why hold off on the proposed air-date?

Well, as these are preview copies, we can assume they’re designed for executives and/or focus groups to look at and give the producers and show-runners an idea of how the show will perform for a wider audience, and therefore if anything needs to be changed.

With these copies being pirated and released to roam free in the world of streams and torrents, one would imagine these show’s producers can get a good idea of how the episodes play simply based on the inevitable fan reaction online.

And judging from the twitter reaction that The Flash pilot has gotten, it can also be seen as good marketing as the overwhelmingly positive response to the leaked opening episode of Barry Allen’s adventures will only have excited people more about what’s to come.

Therefore, is it unreasonable to envision a scenario wherein these shows’ producers just, say, accidentally leak the shows themselves? Because at present, it seems like the internet’s been turned into the world’s biggest focus group with it’s own built-in buzz creator.

With that though, the CW have gotten lucky. This kind of thing can hurt a project, as seen with the unfinished cut of X-Men Origins: Wolverine that was leaked some years ago.

So folks, don’t be surprised if you see more of these ‘leaked’ pilots pop up over time.


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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….