In a marketing move designed to lure viewers to its two big thrillers, Prison Break and Vanished, Fox Broadcasting is streaming this season's first three episodes of each on more than 50 portals and web sites. Free, ad-free episodes of the two shows, which premiered last night, will run on sites including News Corp.'s Fox.com, TVGuide.com and IGN.com, as well as AOL.com, Google Video and Yahoo!. The episodes will be available for about a week after their broadcasts and will post, in some cases, the day after they air.
Fox's move is one to promote and build buzz for the two series, both serialized, rather than one to boost revenue. Fox is pursuing several other online strategies designed to bring in money, such as its plan to stream ad-supported episodes of some series on its owned and operated stations' web sites.