Absentia discussion: Looking at premium cable destinations

premium cableOver the past few weeks, we’ve heard a number of different suggestions for potential homes for Absentia in America. Beyond some of the usual suspects like a USA or a TNT, premium stations like Starz, Showtime, and HBO have come up in discussions a number of times.

So is there an actual chance that one of these providers could pick up the Sony project featuring Stana Katic? Absolutely, and they would enable the show to be a little more edgy and unfiltered than anywhere on basic cable like an FX, a USA, or any other station that you get with a basic subscription. Nonetheless, we’re still not sold on a premium channel being an ideal home for the show for a number of reasons.

1. Cost for consumers – We’re all for as many viewers getting a chance to see the show as possible, and while a premium home is certainly better than no home at all, we’d like to see Absentia on a station where viewers wouldn’t have to spend more than they currently are to see it. The majority of American viewers know Katic through Castle, so with that, we’d like to see it on a network that many of these viewers already have access to and will be able to find easily.

2. Room in the schedule – Is there a history of premium networks broadcasting shows that are produced internationally? Absolutely. Take, for example, The Young Pope over on HBO or Penny Dreadful over at Showtime. Still, there is a pretty limited amount of space for some of these acquisitions, and you are really dependent on a them making room for that show. Given that HBO, Showtime, and Starz all have a pretty extensive list of shows already, there may not be all that much in the way of room.

3. Promotion – When premium networks do pick up a show produced and filmed elsewhere, it often does get lost in the promotional shuffle. To go back to The Young Pope, the Jude Law series got the majority of its publicity through a meme. There was other publicity, but it paled in comparison to other HBO shows.

Of course, there are still great advantages to a premium home, such as the opportunity to air longer episodes without edits and immediate streaming options for subscribers. Ultimately, we would probably prefer a streaming provider like Hulu to a premium network, mostly because it would offer up some of these benefits while staying at a slightly lower price point.

Do you think that Absentia could work on a premium network? Be sure to share in the comments below!

Meanwhile, head over to the link here in the event you want to get some other news when it comes to the series, including features geared around other potential U.S. homes. (Photo: Sony.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!