Popular broadcast TV shows have long been available for streaming or downloading. CBS typically makes all aired episodes available for a brief time on its streaming site, called Innertube.
What CBS is doing with “Smith” is among the first attempts to see what can be done with a failed show. CBS had high hopes for “Smith,” but it lasted only three episodes before CBS yanked it from the schedule due to poor ratings.
Making all seven episodes (three aired, four unaired) available provides an interesting test. Can the Web be used to reward a faithful, but too-small, audience of a show with additional content? And it might be too much to hope for, but another question is whether the Web can be used to expand the audience for a promising but failed show?
The episodes will be available, for free, with minimal commercial interruption, for four weeks. A written synopsis of how the producers planned to resolve the serialized drama will be provided by the show’s writers and posted.