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NBC's 'Conviction' debut episode on iTunes prior to TV broadcast

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MUMBAI: As part of its multi-pronged launch efforts for the new legal drama Conviction, NBC broke network ground by offering the pilot episode as a free download two weeks on the iTunes Music Store before its TV debut.

The announcement was made by NBC Entertainment Group chief executive officer Jeff Zucker. The pilot will be available for a free download from 21 February through 3 March, along with a 3-minute behind-the-scenes featurette and a music video featuring footage from the series, by The Gabe Dixon Band.

Said Zucker, "We believe we have a youthful and energetic cast that should appeal to a new audience increasingly comfortable with this downloadable format as a viewing option. The multi-platform efforts are a buzz-generator for certain shows such as Conviction, and we want to pro-actively reach out to these viewers who have many options for entertainment."

The promotion will extend until the show's network debut 3 March, after which each episode of Conviction will become available for purchase and download on iTunes for $1.99 per episode the day after airing. NBC will also promote the free preview on the show's TV promos, across NBC Universal Web properties and on iTunes.

Apple's vice president of iTunes Eddy Cue said, "We're thrilled to be making history with NBC premiering a new prime-time series on iTunes for the first time. Millions of viewers will have the chance to watch the pilot episode of Conviction on their computer or iPod a full ten days before the show airs on television."

Conviction follows a group of young assistant district attorneys in New York who are confronted with tough cases that challenge their limited experience.

This new legal drama comes from the Emmy Award winner Dick Wolf ("Law & Order" brand series) and the pilot was written by Walon Green (Law & Order) and Rick Eid (The Guardian). "Conviction" is a Wolf Films production in association with NBC Universal Television Studio. Wolf, Green, Eid and Peter Jankowski are the executive producers.

The cast of Conviction includes Stephanie March, Jordan Bridges, J. August Richards, Milena Govich, Eric Balfour, Anson Mount and Julianne Nicholson.

This marks the first time an episode has been made available for free download by a network before airing. Other programs have been made available for free viewing, including Everybody Hates Chris on Google and Jack and Bobby on AOL, but in those instances the video was only streaming and not downloadable

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