NBC Debuts Shows on AOL Ad Free

'Studio 60,' 'Twenty Good Years' Appear a Week Before TV Premiere

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- NBC is using AOL to promote its new fall lineup, debuting "Twenty Good Years" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" online a full week before their broadcast debuts. Running ad free, Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60" is debuting on AOL today, while "Twenty Good Years" will be available Oct. 4.

For networks and their portal partners, building buzz by streaming a series online is a widely adopted strategy this season. Yahoo is previewing CBS's new series "Jericho" and NBC's "Heroes" before each airs; MSN is streaming the CW shows "Runaway," "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Veronica Mars" early. Fox, meanwhile, is using its Fox Interactive sibling websites, such as MySpace and IGN, to stream the first seven minutes of the season premier of "The Simpsons."

Video strategy for all TV series
Like similar services being offered by rival portals, AOL's TV section is serving as a guide to this season's fall lineup. All 82 prime-time shows are represented with video previews, cast backgrounds, picture galleries, games and broadcast schedules.

Eager to give their shows traction, networks aren't limiting their experimentation to portal deals. CBS, for instance, has teamed up with TiVo so its subscribers can watch the pilot episode of CBS's "The Class" a week before it airs on TV. The pilot also comes with a package of clips from CBS's other new shows -- "Jericho," "Smith" and "Shark." In addition, CBS is now offering pilot episodes of "The Class" and "Shark" aboard American Airlines as part of an "Eye on America" in-flight programming partnership.
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