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MTV to premiere 'Punk'd's entire eight episode final season on April 7


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/27/2007 

Looking at the news, viewers may think there the ones being Punk'd.

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But that's not the case, as Viacom has reportedly announced MTV will air all eight episodes of the upcoming season of Punk'd -- which will also be the reality show's last -- during a special "sneak peak" afternoon marathon on Saturday, April 7.  The episodes will then run in their regular Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT time period over the next two months beginning April 10, Daily Variety reported on Monday. 

Despite MTV calling the April 7 broadcasts a "Sneak Peek Marathon," that doesn't appear to be the case, as the episodes will air in their entirety.  MTV Music Group's president of entertainment Brian Graden said the Punk'd "experiment" is a way to generate interest for a series in the same way digital sneak previews are increasingly used by networks.

"We think this could be a great linear television event," Graden told Variety. "In a world of so many promotional opportunities, you take all the promotion you would put in over weeks and concentrate it on one event."

While some networks have made select episodes of certain shows available on new-media platforms, Viacom's Punk'd decision represents "the first known instance" an entire season of any series has aired ahead of schedule on a linear network, according to Variety.

"We're entering a time when the model is going to melt down to some degree," Graden told Variety.  "I want as many stakes in the ground as possible."

Celebrities duped on the upcoming season of Punk'd -- which is produced by Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg -- include actress Hilary Swank, singer Nelly Furtado and former NBA star Magic Johnson.

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