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People are really excited about the third season of Showtime’s Homeland, so excited in fact that many people are willing to illegally download a leaked version of this year’s Season 3 premiere episode. The leaked copies of the season opener are said to have generated over 100,000 downloads via the file sharing service BitTorrent in just a matter of hours.
TorrentFreak first reported the news, noting that the leak is a workprint rather than the final product for the episode, which is no surprise, since the show isn’t expected to air for several weeks. Screener copies frequently go out to members of the press and people in the TV industry ahead of the premiere and those screener copies are often missing opening and closing credits, as well as some special effects, etc. Deadline is reporting that Showtime handed out several of these first episodes screeners at the summer TCA panel last month and the workprint could very well stem from that event, although TorrentFreak is stating that the workprint status of the episode more likely means it is an unfinished copy stemming directly from a post-production studio.
There’s no way to surmise who has the right answer on this one, although I have seen many a screener copy that is missing visual effects and most screener copies are missing opening credits, so I get the feeling Deadline is a little more on the mark, here, especially if copies were handed out a month ago. Either way, Showtime has yet to come out to make a statement about the leak. I wouldn’t be shocked if the network is staying quiet in the hopes that the news doesn’t become too widespread. Then again, maybe Showtime doesn't really care all that much. After all, it's just an unfinished version of the opening episode. It's not like the whole season or even a significant chunk of the season has leaked, which would have been more of a disaster.
So far, the network has been careful about what footage it has shown. First, we got a teaser that gave us nothing but a few ominous words and static noise. Then, we got a more visual trailer featuring a little romance, more than a little religion, and a tough conversation between Carrie and Saul. Now, you can illegally torrent the pilot episode, but I’m not sure it will do much more than make the wait for Season 3 that much longer. Homeland is expected to return to the schedule on Sunday, September 29 at 9 p.m. ET.
This isn’t the first time Homeland has made headlines for illegal downloads. This past winter, the second season of the drama made the list of most illegally downloaded programs on television. That list also included Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory, and Dexter.