NBC follows Fox into cyberspace

NBC, following in the footsteps of Fox, has decided to put the entire first season of “Andy Barker P.I.” online before it goes on the air.

Auds will be able to stream six episodes of the skein at NBC.com starting in March, before the show bows on the broadcast network. In addition, one of the episodes will be a Web exclusive, since NBC plans to air only five episodes of “Andy” this season.

Peacock will also offer a Web-only “bonus” episode of new drama “The Black Donnellys” via NBC.com. It’s believed the seg in question may not have passed muster with NBC’s standards department.

Moves follow Fox’s decision earlier this month to blanket cyberspace with the full first season of new laffer “The Winner.” That skein is available via free streaming, electronic sell-through on services such as iTunes and even via DVD.

NBC digital entertainment and new media exec VP Vivi Zigler said consumers have responded “enthusiastically” to the net’s early streaming efforts.

“Our research is telling us that our users are finding it convenient and easy to view our programming on NBC.com and, in most cases, are treating our site like their own DVR,” she said.

Zigler announced several other NBC.com programming initiatives Tuesday:

  • Peacock has struck a deal with CBS Par Network Television that will allow NBC.com to stream episodes of the studio’s “Medium,” starting in March. Pact follows similar agreements between NBC and Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox TV.

  • Pilot for midseason drama “Raines” will also premiere online before it runs on air. Future episodes will bow the day after they air on NBC.

  • Starting next month, NBC.com will begin streaming all episodes of “Heroes” and “Friday Night Lights.” Peacock quizzer “Identity” will also go online.

Additions mean NBC.com will offer full episode streaming of a dozen primetime skeins.

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