Pilots for two of Fox’s fall TV shows have leaked online. Minority Report and Lucifer hit the web earlier today and have racked up hundreds of host links already, guaranteeing that thousands upon thousands of viewers will watch the pilot episode months ahead of their official premieres.
For those out of the loop, Minority Report picks up ten years after the closing events of the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie, with the three Precogs out in the real world following the end of PreCrime. The latter show, on the other hand, is a supernatural crime thriller based in part on a character created by Neil Gaiman for The Sandman comics, and finds its titular devil relocating to L.A. after he grows bored of hell. There, he joins up with a blonde cop and helps track down baddies with his superhuman skillset.
The pre-release leak is becoming par for the course with many upcoming shows. CBS’ Supergirl pilot hit the web seven months ahead of its debut, and managed to earn a mix of good-to-great reviews off the back of that leaked episode. With that in mind, the general consensus behind today’s leak implies somewhat of a similar intent by Fox. After screenings of their pilots at Comic-Con, both shows received a mixed bag of reviews leading many to believe that today’s piracy event was in fact orchestrated by the network to kickstart early buzz.
Choosing to to set the pilots free in the digital realm may indeed foster better early word than reviews out of SDCC; Minority Report‘s futuristic approach has been tagged as laughable and po-faced, while Lucifer is apparently another humdrum crime procedural. Judging by Deadline‘s report and in particular its contextual choices, the pre-release buzz surrounding pilots is little to do with specific reviews, but more to gauge what type of viewership (downloads) a new show is likely to have. If that’s the case, then surely it’s simpler for Fox to take a leaf out of Amazon’s book: release all the pilots early and let viewers decide which ones go to series.
Minority Report debuts on Fox September 21, with Lucifer aiming for a midseason 2016 release.