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NBC’s ‘Aquarius’ to Launch Second Season With Two-Hour, Commercial-Free Episode

In what’s believed to be an unprecedented launch strategy for broadcast television, NBC will premiere the second season season of its Charles Manson-themed drama “Aquarius” with a two-hour, commercial-free episode.

NBC said Tuesday that the Thursday, June 16 premiere of “Aquarius” will air from 9 to 11 p.m. with no breaks for commercials or network promos. The only stoppage will be a one-minute local news break during the show’s second hour.

The NBC telecast on June 16 will be the only chance to watch the episodes completely commercial-free. When those episodes move to their online and digital platforms following the NBC telecast, a normal commercial load will ensue.

Starting the following week, June 23, the series will shift to its normal 10 p.m. timeslot.

“Aquarius” last year became the first broadcast series to be streamed in its entirety following its debut, with NBC making all 13 episodes available online for the four weeks following its initial telecast on the network. The surge of online viewers for the series are credited for NBC’s decision to renew it for a second season.

In its first season, the drama averaged 3.88 million viewers and a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 in Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates.

“Aquarius” stars David Duchovny, Grey Damon, Gethin Anthony, Emma Dumont, Claire Holt, Michael McManus, Brian F. O’Byrne, Chance Kelly, Ambyr Childers, Madisen Beaty and Cameron Deane Stewart.

Writer John McNamara (“Trumbo, “The Magicians”) serves as executive producer with Marty Adelstein (“Teen Wolf,” “Prison Break”), Becky Clements (“Last Man Standing”), David Duchovny and Melanie Greene. “Aquarius” is a production of Tomorrow Studios, a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios.

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