Question: What was the thinking behind putting all six episodes of Andy Barker, P.I. online before the series debuted? I watched all of them before the first episode aired and then found that I didn't need to see them again. How many others did this? I am sure many Andy Richter and Conan O'Brien fans didn't wait for them to air. It almost seems like someone at NBC purposely set this show up to fail. Why didn't they just do like 24 did, and put one or two episodes online to whet the appetite and then post the shows after they aired? NBC is looking more and more like the Dumont network for this millennium, with a few quality shows and a lot of cheap, filler programming all scheduled at random. Finally, when will someone release the DVD set of Andy Richter Controls the Universe? Maybe as part of a set of DVDs called the Best TV You Never Saw?
Answer: As usual, no clue on the DVD front, although that's a good idea. About Andy's online gamble: the jury's still out, from what I can tell, on the impact of having episodes available online before and/or after a show's initial airdate. I'm betting the percentage of people who choose to watch TV on their computer screens is still pretty puny in the big scheme of things. In the case of a cultish show like Andy Barker thrown into the chaos of a busy mid-season, I'm sure the idea was to give the show extra exposure in hopes of generating some sort of buzz. Like you, I'm surprised they gave it all away for free on the front end. That does sound counterproductive when the goal should be to whet a potential fan's appetite to watch it on air. But I'm not sure it mattered much in the overall ratings. This was a long shot from the start.