The pilot episode of the upcoming CBS series — Supergirl — has leaked online six months before its scheduled TV premiere.
The series was officially picked up by CBS earlier this month and the pilot was scheduled to debut in November, but the episode leaked online on 22 May.
Two torrent sites led the charge. LOL and DiMENSiON released the download originally, but the availability of the files is expected to increase as other torrent sites get their hands on them, reports Business Insider.
LOL is apparently offering a smaller size download file while DiMENSiON's file is more than 15 times the size of LOL's and a quality that should work for HD viewing.
According to TorrentFreak, a realistic estimate is that the episode will reach a quarter of a million downloads by the morning of 23 May. The site also reports that another pilot, for the upcoming NBC series — Crowded — has also leaked online by the same groups (LOL and DiMENSiON, which are connected) and it is available in qualities up to 1080p. It runs for 22 minutes.
Whether more episodes of Supergirl will leak online in the days to come is unknown but in any event it seems likely that CBS will try to stem the current tide.
The Supergirl leak comes just weeks after the first four episodes of the new series of Game Of Thrones leaked online. That event triggered a piracy craze that continues to this day.
Could it all just be a marketing ploy?
According to Forbes, the high quality nature of the file is making some question the validity of the leak itself. "Is it actually possible that Warner Bros (the show's producing studio) and CBS (who declined to comment on the matter) put the pilot out themselves in order to get people talking this early?" speculates the report.
This isn't the first time a Warner Bros produced DC series leaked early. The pilot of The Flash also leaked online in a legitimate theft of the episode from a screener disc around this time last year.