Following lackluster ratings for the series’ debut, Lifetime quietly made the first four episodes of UnReal available online Saturday morning. The series, a scripted show that riffs on competition dating shows like The Bachelor, from creators Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, debuted Monday night following Devious Maids. While it received healthy critical acclaim, the show underperformed considerably. It saw a sizable drop in viewership after its lead-in (an average of 815,000 viewers), and while airing on the same night as the fourth episode of this season of The Bachelorette might not have helped, the failure to keep viewers from Devious Maids is likely cause for concern.
Allowing potential fans to binge the first four episodes online could raise the show’s profile and increase rating. However, Lifetime has notably not promoted the decision to make the episodes available as of this writing.