CBS' first promo for upcoming superhero show Supergirl left many people feeling like they'd already seen the entire pilot, thanks to a First Look that was more like an abridged version of the episode than a teaser for it. Now it's going to be possible to find out if that feeling was accurate (for those who don't mind getting at media through unscrupulous means), as the Supergirl pilot appeared today on a number of torrent sites, six months ahead of its intended premiere date.
This isn't the first major leak disaster of the year. Last month the first four episodes of Game of Thrones season five leaked online ahead of the season premiere, leading HBO to change its distribution of review copies to a streaming-only policy.
News of the Supergirl leak broke on TorrentFreak first, with Variety later updating the story. The pilot first became available just before 3AM ET on Friday, and as of 9:30AM ET it had been downloaded more than 120,000 times worldwide. If nothing else, CBS should at least be comforted to know that people are interested in Supergirl - though the 11 million Youtube hits that the First Look teaser attracted were evidence enough of that.
Unlike the Game of Thrones episodes, which were available in standard definition with a blurred watermark (indicating that they had come from a DVD review copy), the leaked Supergirl show pilot is available in high definition and has no visible watermarks. Review copies are sometimes made available to TCA (Television Critics Association) members this far in advance of a show's premiere (Supergirl won't air on CBS until November), but even they are rarely even DVD quality.
That is to say, the most likely explanation is that the pilot was leaked by an insider or a hacker. It was distributed by two piracy 'Scene' groups: LOL and DiMENSiON.
This doesn't by any means spell doom for Supergirl. Game of Thrones achieved series record ratings with its season five premiere despite the leaked episodes, and if the response to the Supergirl pilot is positive it could end up generating buzz for the show ahead of time. There has already been speculation as to whether the leak was actually deliberate.
"I just had this injury so I had this eye patch on. It was kind of embarrassing... But the second I put it on, something shifts inside of me. It's kind of impossible not to feel strength and empowerment and positivity and hope. It really is pretty surreal."
Supergirl was developed and produced by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg. The latter two have also spearheaded The CW's hit DC comics-based shows Arrow and The Flash, which has led to much discussion over whether Supergirl could crossover with that universe. Benoist was asked about this possibility, but only answered with a non-committal "I hope so!"
Supergirl will premiere on CBS in November 2015.