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'Catastrophe' Makes Its American Debut on Facebook, Not Amazon Prime

U.K. pilot available 48 hours starting tonight

Catch the first episode of Catastrophe on Facebook tonight, and Season 1 on Amazon Prime on Friday. Amazon Studios

British comedy Catastrophe will make its American debut this evening on Facebook.

While the first season will be available Friday on Amazon Prime, the 24-minute debut episode hits Facebook at 7 p.m. ET today and will be available for 48 hours. The "virtual screening party" is also expected to include engagement with the series' stars and writers, Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The episode will include the hashtag bug #CatastropheTV.

Delaney stars as a Boston ad executive, and Horgan plays a London schoolteacher whose one-week stand leads to an accidental pregnancy. The TV-MA comedy will be available to anyone over age 18 in the U.S. The six-episode show first aired on the U.K.'s Channel 4 and has already been picked up for a second season.

Because it aired abroad first, Catastrophe bypassed Amazon's pilot bakeoff process. Typically, viewers vote on pilots and Amazon considers their opinions when picking up shows, which stokes interest—and Amazon Prime signups.

For Facebook, the U.S. debut of a scripted series is another feather in its video cap. In the six months ending in April, video views on the platform went from 1 billion a day to 4 billion a day, putting it in direct competition with YouTube.

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