Binge-watching has earned another victory. Like fellow TV networks before it, Showtime has decided to try the model popularized by streaming services for the first time with the digital release of a full season of its latest comedy series all at once. The network announced the news today, revealing that the comedy Dice will be its guinea pig.
The whole six-episode first season of Dice will be available on Showtime Anytime and Showtime on Demand for cable or satellite subscribers, as well as on the service’s standalone streaming service (known simply as Showtime) starting Sunday, April 10, at midnight. You’ll also be able to watch the show when it airs live, of course, but doing so means a lot more waiting; serious binge-watchers could feasibly stream the entire season before the broadcast of the premiere episode later that day at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, to say nothing of avoiding the weekly wait.
With streamers like Netflix and Hulu giving viewers full seasons at once, networks have increasingly been deviating from the traditional release model. There’s no question that TV fans want the ability to watch multiple episodes at once, but their desire has been met with wariness. Creators and network execs alike have lamented the negative impact it can have on fandom, and the trend seems to be limited experimentation rather than rapid, wide-scale change.
While Showtime’s decision to cater to binge-watching for the first time is a notable step, it also seems tentative. After all, the network opted to make its test subject a new show with a relatively short season rather than taking a risk with one of its longer, more established series. It will be interesting to see how Dice‘s reception impacts the network’s willingness to try the model with other shows.
Dice, a scripted, semi-autobiographical series from creator Scot Armstrong, centers on comedian Andrew Dice Clay as he attempts to rebuild his career in his new home of Las Vegas. The series co-stars Kevin Corrigan, with Natasha Leggero, Adrien Brody, Criss Angel, and more guest-starring.
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