PBS Kids Debuts New Series Online Before TV Premiere

/ Oct 28, 2014


PBS Kids series “Odd Squad,” which follows a pair of mathematical child detectives, will debut on television this November 26. However, full-length content from the show is available to watch online starting today on PBS Kids’ digital properties.

Each “Odd Squad” episode is split into two, 11-minute “Case Files.” Six of these are now available in full on the PBS Kids website and video app, as well as PBS Kids on Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV. In addition to footage from the series itself, PBS Kids platforms will host “agent training videos,” clips, games, and other video extras from “Odd Squad.”

This model, which is designed to build excitement (and an audience) for a show before its TV premiere, has certainly been used in the past. HBO’s pre-released full-length TV pilots and season premieres on YouTube in anticipation of their debut (think “Girls”). Most recently, the network put the pilot episode of summer series “The Leftovers” on Yahoo Screen ahead of its TV premiere. Meanwhile, NBC gave viewers a sneak preview of series “A to Z” on, interestingly enough, iHeartRadio.

However, with PBS Kids, this practice makes even more sense. Kids these days are increasingly accustomed to the idea of multi-platform entertainment, so targeting them via a digital pre-release seems like a smart and natural way to get the demographic interested in a TV show.

“We are excited to offer our young viewers the opportunity to start exploring the world of ‘Odd Squad’ now through funny videos and interactive games, and build anticipation of the launch of this new media property on PBS member stations,” said Ira Rubenstein, SVP and GM of digital at PBS, in a statement.

“Odd Squad” premieres on TV in November with two, back-to-back episodes. The series is aimed at children between the ages of five and eight.

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