In a move to appease the binge habits of today’s TV viewers, TBS announced today it will release its long-in-the-works cop comedy “Angie Tribeca” as a back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back marathon of Season 1. That’s right: TBS will be playing the 10-episode first season five times in a row for a total of 25 hours, beginning January 17. Season 2 will then debut a week later and air new episodes every week.
The TBS marathon will be commercial-free, but viewers can also tune in for episodes via TBS’ VOD digital and mobile platforms. Season 2 episodes will air Mondays at 9:30pm weekly.
“Angie Tribeca,” starring “Parks and Recreation” star Rashida Jones as an LAPD detective forced to pair up with a partner despite her lone wolf ways, debuted its first episode at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2015 to largely positive reviews. The half-hour, single-camera comedy is executive produced by Nancy and Steve Carell.
While the commercial free marathon on TBS marks an unprecedented move for cable networks, releasing multiple episodes in an attempt to mimic Netflix’s binge-viewing model is no new trick. David Duchovny’s “Aquarius” memorably released its entire first season on VOD the day it premiered aired on NBC. USA tried something similar with “Mr. Robot,” releasing the first episode on multiple online platforms ahead of its TV debut. That kind of sampling has been utilized often even by premium cable companies like HBO and Showtime. More recently, TNT released the first four episodes of “Public Morals” online and via VOD when rolling out the critically-acclaimed Edward Burns cop drama.
Early renewals have also become more and more popular. Networks see them as a way to assure viewers more episodes are coming, keeping cancelation concerns — and thus, an unsatisfying end to the binge — at bay. “Blunt Talk,” “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Knick” and many more shows have been given Season 2 pickups before their release.
“Angie Tribeca” debuts January 17 on TBS and all its digital platforms.