The episode is available in up to 1080p HD format and does not contain any evident watermarks, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. The first copies appeared shortly before 3 a.m. ET Friday, according to the firm. As of about 9:30 a.m. ET, the “Supergirl” pilot had been downloaded more than 120,000 times worldwide, per Excipio. [Update, 12:30 p.m. ET: Downloads have hit 192,000, with the U.S., the U.K. and Australia the most-active countries for pirates.]
CBS declined to comment.
“Supergirl” is slated to anchor CBS’s lineup on Monday nights for the 2015-16 season. The series, which stars Melissa Benoist (“Glee,” “Whiplash”) in the title role, is from exec producer Greg Berlanti and Warner Bros. TV.
CBS touted “Supergirl” as one of its top new shows at its upfront presentation last week in New York City. The official first-look trailer on YouTube has already been viewed about 11 million times since it was posted May 13.
It’s relatively rare for a pilot for a new TV show to leak out onto piracy sites — especially a full six months in advance of the premiere date. On the one hand, the early leak of “Supergirl” could put a damper on initial ratings. However, it could also serve to drive audience to the show and build buzz leading up to the fall season. TV networks have released pilots in advance of show debuts as a marketing tool but never this far in advance.
For now, it’s unclear how the high-quality HD copies of “Supergirl” wound their way into the wild.
In April, the first four episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season 5 were ripped from a pre-release press screener and posted to torrent-sharing sites. But those were only DVD-quality, compared with the 1080p HD format for the “Supergirl” pilot that has hit the pirate scene.