Steven Universe fans were having a meltdown on January 2 over the availability of StevenBomb 5 episodes on Cartoon Network’s app weeks ahead of their scheduled television telecast. The fans were in a dilemma and were seen discussing on social media whether to watch the new set of Steven Universe Season 4 episodes online or wait for their telecast on television.
The initial buzz was that the five episodes of StevenBomb 5 were accidently leaked online by Cartoon Network. Co-writer Matt Burnett too confirmed that on his Twitter feed on January 3, saying that they were “mistakenly” posted online.
If you saw the new SU episodes that were mistakenly posted online, I hope you enjoyed them. It was a very fun arc to work on.
— Matt Burnett (@Matt___Burnett) January 3, 2017
Fans were worried that because of the leak, there would be a significant drop in television ratings. It now turns out that Cartoon Network intentionally made available all the five episodes of StevenBomb 5 on its app. It dropped the new episodes early as part of its ”See it First” promotion strategy.
Steven Universe episodes may have been posted online early for the first time, but it is not a new strategy that Cartoon Network kicked off with Rebecca Sugar created animated series. The cable channel had been uploading new episodes to its app weeks ahead of their actual telecast on television, Polygon reported quoting a Cartoon Network‘s rep. Cartoon Network uses the “See it First” strategy to build awareness for the new episodes as well as for the new shows.
This is actually something we’ve been doing for some time with a few of our shows through what we call the ‘See It First’ element of the [Cartoon Network] App. It helps us build awareness for upcoming episodes and for new show launches before they go on the linear platform.
The rep said that last September, they released the new series Mighty Magiswords on the app ahead of its television premiere. And later in December, they followed the same strategy for Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs and My Knight and Me.
On Thursday, January 5, Burnett again took to Twitter to ask his followers to stop wondering and talking about how the StevenBomb 5 episodes were released. He told them to check them out if they were still on the Cartoon Network app, and enjoy watching the episodes.
If new SU eps are staying up on the CN app, you should check them out! Let's stop talking about how they were released & just enjoy them.
— Matt Burnett (@Matt___Burnett) January 5, 2017
Cartoon Network’s app is now streaming only one episode from the StevenBomb 5 set, which is Episode 11 titled “Steven’s Dream.” It has apparently removed the other four new episodes of Steven Universe Season 4 – “Adventures in Light Distortion,” “Gem Heist,” “The Zoo,” and “That Will be All.”
Here is a brief sneak peek of what happens in “Steven’s Dream.” Steven Universe wakes up from a dream shedding tears. He believes that his strange dream has something to do with Pink Diamond, a member of the Great Diamond Authority who was shattered by his mother, Rose Quartz. When the Crystal Gems, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, refuse to tell Steven more about Pink Diamond, he and his father, Greg, take off to South Korea to find answers. There they witness a scene similar to what Steven saw in his dream. What happens next leaves Steven regretting his decision to look for answers, ignoring Crystal Gems’ warning.
Don't worry Steven, no one else really gets it either! ????????????❓ pic.twitter.com/ax1Am2Bv9c
— Cartoon Network (@cartoonnetwork) December 11, 2016
The one-line synopsis for Episode 12, titled, “Adventure in Light Distortion,” reveals that Steven and the Crystal Gems reunite and take off on a search and recovery mission. In Episode 13, “Gem Heist,” Gems will be shown trying to pull off a heist, while in Episode 14, “The Zoo,” Steven will get inside a special zoo, according to the episodes’ synopses. And Episode 15, titled “That Will Be All,” will see Steven and the Gems making a daring escape.
— Cartoon Network (@cartoonnetwork) December 21, 2016
Steven Universe Season 4 returns with StevenBomb 5 on January 30. Episode 11 and Episode 12, “Steven’s Dream” and “Adventures in Light Distortion,” will air on January 30; and for three days straight, from January 31 to February 2, fans will get to see one new episode every day.
[Featured Image by Steven Universe/Cartoon Network]