NBC is new to this sort of thing.
The network has hooked up with Clear Channel’s digital radio platform iHeartRadio to launch romantic comedy A to Z well in advance of the show’s Oct. 2 television debut.
It’s calling the digital premiere Thursday a “first of its kind,” with promotional support running on radio stations, mobile sites and social networks throughout the U.S. Radio personalities like Ryan Seacrest, who has a nationally syndicated show on Clear Channel, will discuss the show on air to drive awareness for the digital screening.
In a statement, NBC says premiering A to Z in this way is perfect for the target millennial audience, which tends to seeks out content online before traditional, linear viewing. Other broadcasters have done this in recent months: MTV premiered a doc called No Cameras Allowed on iTunes; PBS is streaming the entirety of a Roosevelts political dynasty doc before it airs on TV; and BBC America put in a lot of effort to develop a YouTube fanbase for its original comedy Almost Royal.
A to Z borrows a page from How I Met Your Mother in that a narrator describes the romance that almost didn’t happen. The show follows the couple — played by Ben Feldman (Mad Men, The Mindy Project) and Cristin Milioti (The Wolf of Wall Street) — from the day they met.
Ben Queen (Drive), Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation), Will McCormack (Celeste & Jesse Forever), Bill Callahan (Psych) and Michael Patrick Jann (Reno 911!) serve as executive producers. Queen wrote the pilot, which was directed by Jann. The show is produced by Le Train Train Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.