HBO’s Westworld, a science fiction story set in a simulated Old West, premiered last week. We got a 75-minute look into a dark, violent theme park where people go to live out their cowboy fantasies among lifelike beings whose behaviors and movements are programmed down to the slightest movement. If that hadn’t caught us, the old timey rendition of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” as played on a player piano and the orchestral version of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” definitely would have. We can’t wait to see the second episode.
And we don’t have to. The second episode of Westworld is live now, and you don’t even have to violate copyright law to watch it. The second episode is live as we speak on HBO On Demand, HBO Go, and HBO Now.
Westworld normally airs at 9 p.m. ET. This week, there’s another event taking place at 9 p.m. ET – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be participating in the second presidential debate right then. Rather than face off against what’s being viewed, depending on who you ask, as the ultimate circus sideshow or a battle for the very future of our country – either one a huge draw, to be sure – HBO took the unorthodox measure of getting the episode out ahead of time. It’s a bold straegy; one that I hope pays off for them.
While not every network has their own set of viewing apps, just about every network has their programming viewable somewhere other than live television, and success here could encourage other networks to think about similar tactics.
Look for some thoughts from us on the first couple episodes of Westworld soon.