Innovative TV Show Release – Archer, from FX

September 22, 2009

I am a big fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and because of that, I am now a big fan of the FX Network’s strategic team.

For those of you that were not witness to the super secret sneak preview of FX’s new animated show, Archer, I recommend checking it out.  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do so until the season officially premieres in January.

FX decided to silently unveil it’s new show following the season premiere of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia last week.  This is a popular move by many networks because they feel that they will have a strong audience, the reason the show directly following the Super Bowl is such a coveted spot.

But what FX did that was so interesting was that they never told you what the show was going to be.  They had coded messages saying, “Stay tuned for a secret sneak preview of our new hit show”, running throughout the Sunny premiere.  Even the TV Guide Channel, and most guides on digital cable providers showed the spot after Sunny as blank to To Be Announced.

What this successfully did was add to the hype.  Why wouldn’t I stick around and check out the show?  I was curious.  They did their job.

I watched, and I loved every minute of the dark, racy animated comedy.  They had the right audience at the right time.  And then they dropped another bombshell on us, this was just a pilot and the series would not officially come out for another 4 months.  Now it’s time for the hype machine to get started, and if it goes the way FX hopes it will go, the January premiere will be huge.

The anticipation and conversation has already started here, here, and here.  This was a great way to get the word out on a new show, one that is creative and most likely will be copied by other networks.