Sampling opportunities won’t go missing for Starz’s upcoming limited series.
The premium programmer, continuing to implement strategies aimed at building awareness and viewing for its original programming, is working with a number of affiliates to make the first episode of its eight-installment The Missing project accessible on Saturday, Nov. 8 via linear, online and on-demand platforms, a week before the limited series make its national linear debut.
Starz officials said that it has lined up sampling programs with cable, satellite and telco providers that reach 82 million across the U.S. The Missing’s pilot also will be available on select websites, including Starz.com, Starz’s YouTube channel, Starz On Demand and the free Starz Play app.
Among the distributors that will proffer The Missing preview: Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, Mediacom, CenturyLink and members of the National Cable Television Cooperative.
Moreover, Starz subscribers will be able to screen the entire series early. Beginning with the premiere through episode six, viewers can watch each new episode of the series one week in advance of its linear Starz bow, on Starz On Demand and Starz Play. The final two episodes will be available on Starz on Demand and Starz Play, tipping on Dec. 20 – two weeks prior to the premium channel airing the seventh episode on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 and the series finale the following week (see schedule below).
“This new scheduling strategy optimizes the value of our digital platform offerings as we increase viewer flexibility for viewing the suspenseful series, giving Starz on Demand and Starz Play viewers early access to episodes prior to our Starz linear network,” said David Baldwin, executive vice president, program planning, network operations for Starz. “The cliff-hanging conclusion of each episode of ‘The Missing’ will leave viewers wanting more, and by offering the episodes on Starz digital platforms in advance of their linear Starz premium channel premieres, we satisfy that need.”
A thriller, The Missing goes inside the mind of a father, Tony Hughes, played by James Nesbitt (The Hobbit trilogy), desperate to locate his lost son. With help from local police detective Julien Baptiste, played by Tcheky Karyo (Goldeneye), Tony embarks on an obsessive quest to find his son and those responsible for his disappearance. Tony’s exhaustive search fractures his relationship with his wife, Emily, played by Frances O’Connor (A.I.: Artificial threatens to destroy his life. Told through a delicate and complex narrative, the limited series unfolds over two time frames simultaneously.
Starz has supported the launch of Survivor’s Remorse, hit Outlander and key original series like Black Sails and Power, as well as the sophomore run of Da Vinci's Demons and reality series The Chair with various on-demand, digital and experential marketing initiatives.
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* free multiplatform sampling available