Fall TV Preview

Is Supergirl the Earliest Pilot Leak Ever?

Supergirl Pilot Leaks

Faster than a speeding bullet, the pilot for CBS’ Supergirl has illegally leaked onto file-sharing sites.

CBS ordered the buzzy superhero drama to series barely two weeks ago, and only unveiled the first footage last Wednesday, May 13, during its annual Upfront presentation to advertisers.

The leaking of pilots for an upcoming TV season is nothing new, though Supergirl‘s super-fast pirating would seem to set a land-speed record for a high-profile project. Last summer, for example, the pilots for The Flash and Constantine — also comics book-based fare appealing to a certain crafty, passionate crowd — didn’t find their way online until late June.

The pilot for NBC’s new Crowded comedy, starring Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston, also leaked online Friday morning.

The technology-related business solutions firm Excipio told our sister site Variety that the Supergirl leak is available in HD without any evident watermarks, and has been downloaded at least 120,000 times since hitting piracy sites.

Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist (Glee) in the title role, Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal), Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy), Mehcad Brooks (Desperate Housewives) and Jeremy Jordan (Smash). It will air Mondays at 8/7c, starting sometime in early November.

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66 Comments
  1. “CBS’ Supergirl has illegally leaked onto file-sharing sites.” well, whether the leak was legal or illegal remains to be seen. Some people believe CBS leaked it themselves to quell the negative reaction to the trailer.

    • SteveO says:

      The reaction to the trailer wasn’t negative anywhere but Nerd Twitter.

      • It was negative in a number of places over a number of different reasons. Releasing the full first episode may be an attempt to curtail that.

        • SteveO says:

          I’m sure there were a number of places that were negative. That’s what you get on the Internet. But overall buzz has been very positive.

          Not saying this wasn’t an intentional, promotional “leak” – it’s certainly curious that there out of four Warner Bros./DC pilots have leaked in the last two years – but there’s no way it was for damage control/because of negative buzz.

          • Pedro says:

            Where was the buzz positive?

          • ? says:

            Overall buzz for the trailer was rather negative. The pilot is a lot better than the trailer suggests, which lends credence to the theory that the leak was intentional because CBS wanted to do damage control before the show was branded with that negativity or even a just as fatal lack of enthusiasm.

          • Temperance says:

            The pilot is charming, but seems to skew a bit young.

      • D. says:

        the trailer was horrible and made the retch but it should appeal the brain dead Kardashian crowd

    • luke says:

      How much did CBS pay tvline to promote the leak on its website? To make sure people know about the leak and actively search for the episode online. C’mon TVLine I thought you were better than this…

  2. galler says:

    No, because Crowded leaked 2 hours before Supergirl.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Obviously the context is “buzzy, high-profile” pilots, but I have made an edit to appease.

  3. madhatter360 says:

    What are the chances that CBS releases it officially on their website since it’s out there now?

    • coolguy says:

      It would be the smartest thing to do. Anyway, piracy reached really a whole new level. Pirates are able to put their hands on episodes before they air on TV, getting the raw version yet to be compressed that have a better quality than what will be avalaible on TV or even in blurays.

      I don’t think this is intentional since involves every network and several production companies. It’s really hard to explain how this can happen. We’re talking about insiders really really inside.

      As it happend for GoT leaks, I’ll wait TV broadcasting. Piracy should have ethical limits and it’s not appealing to watch episodes months earlier the following.

      • There’s been low quality leaks for YEARS, too. I can remember downloading Buffy and Angel episodes the morning before they aired back in S7/4 respectively, and the first two eps of Angel season 5 devoid of final special effects. This isn’t entirely a new phenomenon.

    • arianeb says:

      NBC regularly early releases pilot episodes of some of their shows to generate buzz, ABC, Fox and CW have done so in the past, as well, but CBS has not done it ever. It is usually through legal channels like Hulu, iTunes, or Amazon.

      Apparently the higher ups at CBS frown on that kind of pre-promotion, and it is possible some disgruntled producer or marketing exec decided to take matters into their own hands. CBS would be smart to pre-release it, especially since it seems the people who have seen the full episode are liking it.

      • Like may be a bit too strong. It was average at best. So far it’s easily the weakest of the DC shows. That said, it’s a first episode. Hopefully it will get better, but there’s nothing new in it, and in fact, other shows have done it better. The office scenes with Calista Flockhart might as well be borrowed from Ugly Betty scripts, the choosing of the outfits was done better elsewhere, especially the Lois And Clark version. The sister sub-plot is weak, and only there to move along what Smallville fans used to decry as a the meteor-freak-of-the-week stories, which lead to a big-bad who has already been done better elsewhere, although there may be a gender swap twist. It was average in every possible way, with little to no cast chemistry, and an easily forgettable supergirl actress (See, I can’t even remember her name) overplaying the naïve aspects of her character. There’s sweet, and then there’s falling off the turnip truck. For parents who are scientists, this supergirl is way too clueless. Waiting for people to complain about Jimmy (“only Supes calls me Jimmy”) Olsen being black, he’s actually the strongest part of the show. Give it time, someone will complain.

        That said, it would be really smart if they released it early, got some feedback and adapted the show to overcome it. But that said, I don’t think they leaked it.

        Bottom line, Supergirl is no Flash, no Arrow, no Agents of Shield, and barely surpasses the Barbara Gordon of Gotham. Can’t imagine it lasting more than one season as it is. Hope the fix it by ep 2.

  4. Erika says:

    So are the ratings of Supergirl premiere in November down because of pilot leak on internet too early?

  5. LT says:

    Ughh…I hate piracy. Yo criminals, you know that there could be changes before the actual premiere, right? Networks are known to tweak things in pilots, so if you think you’re cool…you are most definitely not.

  6. Mr. Tran K says:

    It has over 10 million views and counting on YouTube. Look up in the CBS YouTube channel.

  7. THAT WAS AN AWESOME PILOT…. november is way too far!!!!

  8. moon says:

    Loooool it was “leaked”. I’ll try and watch it today, so far I am hearing that the lead girl isn’t good

    • LOL says:

      She is quite good. People might have a problem with the fact that she’s very much a stereotypical girl but she pulls it off.

  9. Rolfe says:

    Do these things really leak… Or do they just want early buzz?

  10. Dude says:

    I watched it and I liked it. I’ll watch the show. Melissa Benoist is cute as a button. It has a ver similar tone to The Flash.

  11. mike says:

    I had it saved to my youtube, had to go to a different work site for a couple hours, and it had been removed. Curses

  12. mike says:

    I just finished watching do I loved every minute of it I do hope poeple will this show a chance

  13. eva says:

    Thanks for the heads up, harr harr! ;)

  14. Justsomeguy says:

    I won’t spoil anything about the pilot but I will say this: if you liked the trailer, then you’ll probably enjoy the show. If you didn’t like the trailer, skip the show. It’s everything you thought it would be, for better or worse.

  15. Stacy says:

    Glad you mentioned Crowded. Just watched the pilot; I love Preston and Warburton. The show had good timing, I definitely think it could become a winner.

  16. Lysh says:

    I still have my leaked Flash file. June 24th. I had a feeling this would happen to Supergirl but I’m definitely surprised it’s so early. I’m waiting to watch it with my family later.

  17. Anna says:

    Well, people are talking about the show now, right? So it’s not too bad that the pilot got leaked… I’m probably gonna watch it some time during the summer. It’s smart, really. Let people watch the pilot when not much else is on (not a bazillion other pilots!) and hope they enjoy it & come back for more. It’s like a biggest fish in the smallest pond kinda thing.

  18. Drew says:

    I’d really like to check this out… but I have a thing against pirating shows. Damn moral compass!

  19. Noa says:

    I’m sure it’s not going to be the final broadcast version, but I’ll give it a watch anyway. I recall the original pilot of True Blood leaking several years ago, before Tara was recast. I also think these leaks are not mere ‘accidents.’

  20. robandco says:

    The pilot is good, the trailer did not do it justice at all IMO. The cast is very good. Calista Flockhart is great. I think Melissa Benoist was perfectly cast for the angle they chose. It is a pretty good surprise for me. I’ll watch it again to see if a new cut is made for the official pilot.

    But again, even presented with a giant HD photo of Supergirl’s face while she is in the very same room people do not recognize her. I know it is a superhero show standard but come on, it makes people look very stupid.

  21. Khaatim Boyd says:

    I watched it earlier. If that is the final product, it’s enjoyable. There are some cliche’s here and there, but I can look past that.

  22. topoopon says:

    So this is going up against Gotham? You know what? Supergirl pilot was way more fun than Gotham has been in an entire season. If I had to pick one live and one to DVR, I think Supergirl gets the live view. Gotham, I’ll keep up, but it’s been uneven, dragging, and not much there, I really hope that they get the show to crossover with Flash, Arrow and LoT. They do have corporate synergy in production companies and in the fact that CBS is partial owner of the CW.

  23. fatalsin says:

    Its awesome…yeah its not overly complicated but its cute!

  24. alex says:

    i’m not watching it til it premieres, if i watched it now i’d have to wait ages for the next episode and that’d be annoying.

  25. the flash’s pilot leaked early, and everyone thought it was insanely good. and they still watched the premiere and didnt it break records? yes it did. Leak probably had little to no effect on it.

  26. hello says:

    I would not be surprised if they intentionally leaked it. And it is really good

  27. Trista says:

    Am I the only person that has no clue how to watch pirated movies and tv shows?

  28. The Watcher says:

    I wasn’t sold on the précis when the news first broke, but the trailer (surprise) actually persuaded me that the idea of a Supergirl TV show was viable.

    Now after the pilot, I’m on board for this series and its concept moving forward.

    I was expecting something equating to the awful ‘Wonder Woman’ pilot, and we instead got something way more fun and quirky like ‘The Flash’.

    Here’s hoping that the Supergirl and the rest of the DCU-TV Universe can play around a bit. I’d love to see a TV Justice League composed of Supergirl, Green Arrow, Flash, Firestorm, The Atom, Black Canary, Vibe, & Hawkgirl!

    • The Watcher says:

      Hell, Throw in ‘John Constantine’ as well. We’ll need a Magic Badass, and he can bring the ‘Helmet of Fate’ , ‘The Spectre’, ‘Swamp Thing’ & ‘Zatanna’ while he’s at it!

  29. Nichole says:

    Didn’t think much of the trailer but gave the pilot a go, really didn’t like it. Melissa Benoist is very miscast in this, the awkward PA was too fluffy (can’t think of a word to properly describe it lol) and she just doesn’t have the gravitas to pull off the “super” part. Plus it felt like they wasted a lot of potential story lines and character growth by how much the pilot covered, or didn’t as the case may be. It felt like they had half a season of story crammed in 46mins and a “just go with it” un-reactive approach to things the where revealed to different people through the pilot. While the CGI was pretty good for TV, the wire work by Benoist in that last fight scene was dreadful. Not sure why CBS would go with a show like this, definitely not their usual sort of fair, but if they did leak the pilot to gauge reaction, I hope they tack notice of viewers comments and look at recasting the lead.
    PS – what is up with Calista Flockhart face? I’m not usually one to take issue with personal appearances but she looked like she couldn’t blink and her mouth barely moved!

  30. tristan says:

    they say that CBS leak Supergirl to take-off all the negative thoughts on the show. at first i was skeptical about it. then after i watch it. woah its good the only thing i didn’t like in pilot episode that she’s giving away her secrets. and that other thing. is in the she was adopted by the kents but all in all it was a good pilot episode.

  31. Temperance says:

    I consider it an advertizement, not a leak. I doubt there was anything accidental about it. It’s pretty charming, but a little PG-13.

  32. Joseph says:

    The FLASH was also “leaked” extremely early. It’s obvious that this was an intentional leak by the studio (just like The Flash). Otherwise, DC/Warner would have demanded the links be taken down, and that has not happened in over 24 hours. So just enjoy this early present from the CW. It’s obvious they are just HUNGRY for our feedback.