DirecTV Offers Weeklong Preview of ‘The Pillars of the Earth’

I really like having DirecTV, mostly because of their love for scripted programming. They’ve single-handedly saved both Friday Night Lights and Damages, and that’s earned them a little respect in my book. Any network or television group that shows love for (quality) scripted television automatically gets love from me.

DirecTV does most of their original content through their channel “The 101,” a channel named after its channel number (big stretch there). The 101 also airs some pretty nice concerts, which is the main reason I watch the channel. So as I was gearing up to watch Asia in concert on the 101 (a rather disappointing show, I might add), I saw something that was rather curious: The Pillars of the Earth was on.

I immediately jumped to the conclusion that the 101 and Starz had partnered up and that the 101 would be airing the series for those of us who didn’t subscribe to Starz. Then I took a step back, realized how stupid that was, and did some investigating (I hit the info button my remote).

As it turns out, the 101 is really just acting as an advertising tool for Starz’s eight-part miniseries based on the 1989 book by Ken Follett. For a week, the 101 will be sampling out the first two episodes of the miniseries in a sort of attempt to get people to subscribe to Starz. While they probably will not be successful with me (times are hard), I’m interested to know how effective this marketing technique will be, or if we’ll see it again in other Starz shows like Camelot or Torchwood (the only show that’s even making me think about subscribing to Starz).

The Pillars of the Earth, which stars Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland, will air through its eighth episode on August 27. No news as to whether World Without End, the 2007 sequel to the book, will be adapted as well.

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