Episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm season 9 have leaked early, thanks to the HBO hacker. This is the latest in a string of incidents since the hack attack began a few weeks back. While the hack attack doesn't appear to be as massive as the one inflicted on Sony a few years ago, the network obviously can't be pleased about things like private emails and contact info being released, along with episodes of HBO shows leaking online prior to their respective air dates.
The biggest target has been Game of Thrones, which has seen both scripts and episodes leak in advance courtesy of the hacker. While the show's viewership hasn't been hurt as a result, the intent to harm HBO was clear, to the point that the premium channel was revealed to have offered the hacker $250,000 to try and prevent more leaks. Sadly, that strategy just resulted in more public embarrassment for the network, and further leaks.
Now, Variety reports that several episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm's highly anticipated season 9 have leaked online. Unlike Thrones, where the leak wasn't that far from the air date, Curb is potentially a bigger blow to HBO, as season 9 doesn't premiere on TV until October. The Larry David comedy has been on hiatus for 6 years now, and its return is being promoted with the appropriate fanfare. Neither David nor HBO can be happy about this turn of events, and for their part, the network released the following statement in response.
"We are not in communication with the hacker and we’re not going to comment every time a new piece of information is released. It has been widely reported that there was a cyber incident at HBO. The hacker may continue to drop bits and pieces of stolen information in an attempt to generate media attention. That’s a game we’re not going to participate in. Obviously, no company wants their proprietary information stolen and released on the internet. Transparency with our employees, partners, and the creative talent that works with us has been our focus throughout this incident and will remain our focus as we move forward. This incident has not deterred us from ensuring HBO continues to do what we do best.”
Judging by the tone of HBO's statement, they are clearly fed up with the ongoing hacking assault, and would very much like to resume business as usual. Unfortunately, only time will tell how long the hacker will choose to continue leaking HBO materials, or how much more advance episodes they have left in their possession. At this point, it doesn't seem like anything HBO says or does will solve the problem, so they basically just have to ride it out.
As for Curb, only time will tell whether season 9's ratings are hurt by the leak. Perhaps -- like the leaked Thrones episode -- fans will respond to the whole thing by just tuning into Curb in numbers never before seen. Still, these kinds of criminal activities are never a good thing for those who make TV or those who enjoy watching their products.
Curb Your Enthusiasm season 9 premieres October 1 on HBO.