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Kelley’s ‘Mars’ Draft Hits Internet

Jun 18, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Another fall pilot has leaked to the Internet.
A copy of David E. Kelley’s ABC drama “Life on Mars” has popped up on BitTorrent, the filesharing site that drives broadcasters crazy. The posting follows the recent Internet arrival of J.J. Abrams’ “Fringe.”
But there’s a big difference between the “Fringe” and “Mars” postings.
Fox plans to air the “Fringe” pilot pretty much as is this September. ABC, on the other hand, is planning major retooling to “Mars,” and has even brought in new showrunners to overhaul the show.
That means the version of “Mars” on the Internet is sort of an instant collectors’ item, since it will likely never be broadcast. TV fans, however, might not know that.
As a result, lots of potential viewers who check out the Internet version of “Mars” could get the wrong idea about what “Mars” will look like when it debuts.

20 Comments

  1. Wow, there’s so much wrong with this story I don’t know where to begin.
    I suspect when you say that the pilot for “Life On Mars” is available on BitTorrent, you mean to say that it’s available on filesharing sites via BitTorrent software (there’s a difference between that and BitTorrent.com, which is attempting to stay legit).
    And I’m not sure why this sentence is important:
    “As a result, lots of potential viewers who check out the Internet version of “Mars” could get the wrong idea about what “Mars” will look like when it debuts.”
    Yes, that’s true. But that was also the case with a number of early pilots that leaked online in the past few years. Shows such as “Bionic Woman” were extensively retooled after the early pilot leaked. And I don’t think tv fans were confused. Well, maybe they were confused by the final version, but that’s another story.
    BTW, when I checked the various fileshring sites just now, I counted at least five fall pilots online, including one site that had what looked to be a rough edit bay version of “Eleventh Hour”
    I think I’ll stop now….

  2. soo sick of the bitchy tech geeks that freak out when subtle nuances of technology explanations in stories – mean the whole things is “ALL WRONG”
    actually, this was an interesting read. good to hear the report and your explanation of the process. learned a bunch from both of you.
    but i gotta say the story says yet another and you continue that thought with another five . . .
    sounds like there’s some major security breaches at edit facilities all over town?

  3. Bitchy tech geeks? Wow, what an attitude.
    You don’t have to be a “tech geek” (I’m a 50-something guy whose tech knowledge is challenged by iTunes) to realize it was a big mistake.
    It’s like saying you found something on Internet Explorer rather than the Internet.
    You wouldn’t put up with a big factual mistake if it was a story about some aspect of broadcast TV. Why put up with it just because it’s “techy?”
    As for breaches at edit facilities, I don’t know if that’s the case. But last season, some huge multi-file edit bay version of an episode of “Smith” was floating around for awhile.

  4. I’m still not seeing the downside of pilot leaks.
    For three months thousands of people will be talking about Fringe and recommending it to their less techno-savvy friends and family.
    People who hated the LA version of Life on Mars will be curious to see the New York version.
    If the whole world was watching shows via file sharing instead of via networks that would be a problem but only a tiny tiny proportion of the world are doing that.
    It’s the equivalent of giving the press screeners so they write about a show except no-one is interested in the press anymore (several newspapers here in the UK have sacked their TV writers) and people go to their favourite blog for the skinny on what to watch instead.

  5. We agree totally with Robin. The cat — and the pilot — is out of the bag, and those of us who are interested enough to seek out early versions are going to be talking about the shows and creating online buzz which the networks will be panting for soon enough. The people writing about TV on the net are often industry folks who are at least as qualified to write about TV as the folks at papers, and at the very mininum they’re super fans who certainly care more than most reviewers.
    Hey, it’s all good. Perhaps a bit premature, but good just the same. Imagine — somebody cares enough to post or download your show. Shake your fist, but also say thanks.

  6. To be fair, not all the five or six pilots online seem to be available on public sites such as Pirate Bay. I’ve only seen the Eleventh Hour pilot (or what seems to be most of the pilot, anyway) in more private spots that require an invite.
    Still, I expect we’ll see a good eight or nine leaked online by late summer (if the past few seasons are any indication).

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