Showtime has engineered a pay TV first, making all eight hours in the second season of “Sleeper Cell: American Terror” available to Showtime On Demand on Dec. 10 — the same night that the first two hours premiere on the main network.
“Sleeper Cell” will also be one of a number of series Showtime will offer on Amazon.com’s digital-video service Unbox. Other series include “The L Word,” “Weeds,” “Fat Actress” and “Penn & Teller: Bullshit,” each episode of which will cost $1.99. Showtime is the first pay TV network to do an Unbox deal.
Showtime’s goal is to use Amazon.com to make nonsubscribers aware of shows that may be worth a monthly subscription to see.
Following its Dec. 10 premiere on Showtime, “Sleeper Cell” will play like a saturation miniseries, scheduled each subsequent night in two-hour blocks through Dec. 13.
Showtime slotted the 10 hours of last year’s first cycle of “Sleeper Cell” in 60-minute episodes nightly over two weeks (Dec. 4-7 and Dec. 11-14), culminating in a two-hour finale on Dec. 18. Although well received by the critics, the show averaged a disappointing 227,000 total viewers.
To promote the Showtime/Unbox arrangement, Amazon will also offer the first episode of the new series “Dexter” for 1¢ until Wednesday.