Showtime may have been hoping for some spectacular ratings when ‘Homeland’ returns for its third season, but a leaked episode could spell disaster for the numbers. Somehow the premiere episode of the third season has been released online, and already over a 100,000+ have seen the episode.
The episode itself won’t air until September 29, 2013 and the series is one of Showtime’s most popular in the company’s lineup. Naturally to download the content is both illegal and easy, so most people have opted not to wait another three weeks to see the first episode. Just like early movie releases, a screener was made of the episode, which is given to press and critics. This episode was given out at the Television Critics Association event in Los Angeles last July. Though incomplete (credits and some CGI effects are not included) fans probably won’t mind the leaked version.
Game of Thrones is one of the most pirated shows on television today, but HBO doesn’t seem to mind all of the free publicity and word-of-mouth the show gets from it. It’s too early to tell if this will have a positive or negative effect on the ratings, going into the third season.