Another win for binge-watchers. Starz has decided to give the all-at-once release model popularized by Netflix a shot, starting with the upcoming final season of Da Vinci’s Demons and ballet-focused miniseries Flesh and Bone. The network announced during a TCA event that Starz subscribers will be able to find the full seasons on Starz Play and Starz On Demand when they premiere this fall.
With this move, Starz becomes yet another network to try out the binge-inducing release format pioneered by Netflix. The company is still testing the waters, though, so not every series will follow the model. David Baldwin, EVP of Program Planning, explained that the two shows in question lent themselves particularly well to “a binge viewing experiment.” He also highlighted how long Da Vinci’s Demons fans have had to wait for the next installment in the series — it’s already been over a year since the season 2 finale aired.
While it seems possible that other Starz series may also get the all-in-one release treatment in the future, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht cautioned that it won’t work for all of the network’s shows. Often, episodes begin airing before an entire season is complete, so it would mean delayed premieres. Albrecht explicitly named Outlander as one that won’t be part of the experiment.
Starz may be willing to deviate from the standard formula, but other premium networks remain staunchly opposed. It’s no secret that HBO isn’t convinced by the new model; the company’s CEO has touted the benefits of the serial format, arguing that it builds a fan community and prolongs the conversation around a series. It’ll be interesting to see if the Starz test will prove successful and potentially open the door for more premium content available for TV bingers.
The third and final season of Da Vinci’s Demons premieres on Oct. 24, while the first episode of Flesh and Blood will air on Nov. 8.