The network announced on Monday that both the season 6 premiere of “Shameless” and also the premiere of their new Paul Giamatti – Damian Lewis series “Billions” will be available on January 1 across many of their platforms. This includes Showtime ANytime, YouTube, Facebook, SHO.com, iTunes, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and Amazon Prime. (Hulu and Amazon have recently struck deals where you can add the network to their existing packages.) Some of you will probably watch the “free preview” edition of the episode, which means that some scenes will need to be edited slightly to meet YouTube standards.
This move is hardly a surprise when you look at the network’s past history. Showtime has a tendency to release their premiere episodes of many of their shows early, largely for the reason that this allows them a chance to try to get some viewers hooked before airing the rest of their season on paid channels. We don’t think it is too much skin off of their back to give customers one episode for free, since the benefits are worth so much more than what they lose. Also, it’s a chance to at least temporarily combat piracy, which is pretty bad across all of premium cable.
We’re going to have some further coverage of all these shows as we get a little bit closer to them airing, so be on the hunt for some other updates!