How Commercial-Free Series Premieres Are Paying Off for Cable Networks

TBS, Syfy and WGN America give new shows a boost

This winter, something big has been missing from the new series premieres on TBS, Syfy and WGN America: advertisements. Syfy aired a commercial-free sneak peek of The Magicians in December, while TBS rolled out the entire first season of comedy Angie Tribeca during a 25-hour "binge-a-thon" in January, with no ads during the episodes (local ads played between episodes, along with content sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts and Intuit's TurboTax). And WGN America opted to forego ads for the series premieres of its two winter dramas: Outsiders in January and Underground on March 9.