NBC and Netflix are breaking new ground in the kind of relationship a rental service can have with a content provider.

According to Yahoo!, NBC and Netflix, Inc., "today announced they will offer Netflix's approximately five million subscribers an advanced look at the premiere episodes of NBC's anticipated new drama series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Kidnapped."

These new shows are going to be "made available in their entirety, six weeks before their respective broadcast premieres, on a special DVD created for Netflix that will also include preview trailers of the network's other new fall drama series."

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"This unique joint effort will generate even more early buzz for some of our hottest new dramas by letting the Netflix user get an early preview," said NBC's chief marketing officer, John Miller. "The promotion takes aim at the Netflix demographic-rich entertainment consumer who is looking for this kind of high-end television show, and then is eager to pass the word."

Starting on August 5, "Netflix subscribers will have the opportunity to view Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Kidnapped before anyone else. When added to their personal 'queues' on Netflix.com, the DVD will be mailed first-class with postage-paid return via the United States Postal Service, Netflix's customary means of distribution."

This promotional offer extends until September 17.

About Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip:

Emmy Award-winning executive producer-writer Aaron Sorkin (NBC's "The West Wing") and Emmy-Award winning executive producer-director Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing") return to television with this crackling take on the drama behind the humor of producing a popular, late-night comedy sketch show, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." Sorkin lays bare the backstage politics, romances and delicate balance between creative talent, on-air personalities and network executives in an instant text-messaging world.

Prominent are Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet, Syriana), a savvy new network entertainment chief who inherits a massive public relations disaster on the series -- even before she starts her first day -- and Matt Albie (Matthew Perry, "Friends") and Danny Tripp (Bradley Whitford, "The West Wing"), a brilliant creative team that she wants to resurrect the program. Also playing crucial roles are the sketch comedy series stars Harriet Hayes (Sarah Paulson, Down With Love), Simon Stiles (D.L. Hughley, "The Hughleys") and Tom Jeter (Nathan Corddry, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"), their normally cool-headed director, Cal Shanley (Timothy Busfield, "thirtysomething") as well as supreme network honcho Jack Rudolph (Steven Weber, "Wings"). The series is a production of Warner Bros Television.

About Kidnapped:

NBC's "Kidnapped" is a high-stakes serialized thriller in which the teenage son of a wealthy Upper East Side family is kidnapped and everyone is a suspect. The series focuses on the elaborate, triangulated game between the kidnappers, FBI and law enforcement, and the private negotiating team contracted by this "perhaps" not-so-picture-perfect family. On a rainy New York morning, the idyllic existence of Conrad Cain (Timothy Hutton, Kinsey), a self-made millionaire with a long list of enemies, and his well-to-do wife Ellie (Dana Delany, "China Beach") is torn apart when their 15-year-old son Leopold (Will Denton Palindromes), a smart but quirky kid whose innocence makes him the perfect target, is kidnapped on his way to school.

The boy's bodyguard Virgil (Mykelti Williamson, "Boomtown"), the boy's first line of defense even after the kidnapping, is left to die. Desperate to find his son while keeping his skeletons hidden, Mr. Cain enlists the services of Knapp (Jeremy Sisto, "Six Feet Under" and Thirteen), a "professional" investigator who works outside the law's strict rulebook to retrieve kidnapping victims and guide families through the grueling process, and his able partner and right hand Turner (Carmen Ejogo, "Lackawanna Blues").

Operating opposite Knapp and his team are Special Agent Latimer King (Delroy Lindo, The Core), an experienced FBI agent who postpones his retirement due to a vested interest in this complicated case, and King's colleague and antithesis Agent Andy Archer (Linus Roache, Batman Begins), who only knows how to play by the rules. "Kidnapped" is produced by Sony Pictures Television and 25C Productions. Jason Smilovic ("Karen Sisco"), David Greenwalt ("Angel"), Michael Dinner ("Invasion"), Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers.

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs