Beginning today, HBO is making the first episode of Aaron Sorkin’s new drama The Newsroom, which premiered on the pay cable network last night, available free to any viewers — including non-subscribers. It is going live on HBO.com, YouTube, DailyMotion, TV.com and multiple distributors’ free On Demand platforms. The episode will also be available as a free podcast on iTunes during the sampling period. FYI, ratings for the Newsroom premiere will be available in about an hour. (UPDATE: The ratings are in: the series debut attracted 2.1 million viewers in its first airing and 2.7 million overall.)
Meanwhile, Showtime is putting the final-season premiere of Weeds and the second-season opener of Episodes on Facebook one week before their July 1 debut on the network. To boost sampling of the Matt Leblanc comedy Episodes, those who watch the show’s Season 2 premiere will be able to “unlock” the first episode of Weeds‘ eighth season. The Episodes opener also will be available on other platforms.