Sneak peek annoys Alphabet
A rough cut of a steamy sex scene from “Desperate Housewives” has found its way onto YouTube — a month before the episode is slated to air.It’s not unusual for complete episodes of shows to pop up on the viral video site, and this summer, a number of pilots have found their way onto the Net as well. But the “DH” leak reps what might be the first example of rough footage from an in-production series showing up on YouTube prior to broadcast. ABC and Touchstone execs insist the scene isn’t an official leak designed to build buzz for the show’s third season. Neither series creator Marc Cherry nor a rep for the show returned calls seeking comment. “We are looking into the unauthorized clips of ‘Desperate Housewives’ on YouTube, and will be having them taken down,” an ABC rep said Thursday after being informed of the YouTube posting by Daily Variety. If the clip was pirated without any network or studio blessing, it’s a disturbing development — particularly in an era of serialized skeins that place a premium on plotline secrecy. “Can you imagine the resolution to a cliffhanger being put out there?” one exec from a non-Disney conglom said when told about the leak. “It could be a really big problem.” Scene in question runs for about a minute. It features Bree (Marcia Cross) in bed with new love interest Orson (Kyle MacLachlan). After initially resisting his attempts to perform oral sex on her — “I’m a Republican,” she says — she relents, with explosive results. Clip has been posted by at least two different YouTube users (or the same user with different screen names). One of the clips contains a note claiming the scene has been cut from the episode, suggesting ABC execs might have had concerns about the content — perhaps motivating someone connected with the show to post it online. One person familiar with the situation, however, said the scene is scheduled to air — but conceded there might be trims due to concerns over the volume of Bree’s climactic scene. However, an ABC promo for “DH” — also posted on YouTube — is capped by a quick cut showing a clip of just that scene. A production insider at another network said he found it hard to believe the “DH” clip came from a low-level staffer or an employee at the post-production facility where “DH” is put together. “If it’s inhouse, you have tight controls over who has access to (the footage),” he said. “And if it’s an outside facility, they can’t afford a leak. They know if there’s a leak, they’re (fired). I’m suspicious.” Still, while both film and TV studios have always been concerned about leaked footage, the YouTube era has demonstrated just how quickly such pirated footage can spread.
For all variety's headlines, follow us @variety on twitter