Fans were startled and worried when five unreleased episodes for "Steven Universe" season 4 were mistakenly posted on Cartoon Network's website, but, apparently, it wasn't a mistake.
A Cartoon Network representative told Polygon that it was an intentional move.
"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," the representative explained. "It helps us build awareness for upcoming episodes and for new show launches before they go on the linear platform."
It can be recalled that last Jan. 2, fans were unexpectedly able to see all five unreleased episodes for "Steven Universe." They weren't even previews, but rather the full-length videos that gave those who were able to get glimpses of information on what all of those were about.
Shortly after, co-writer Matt Burnett tweeted, "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." This was when fans began to worry for the series and its ratings.
If Cartoon Network did intentionally leak them to, as they say, "increase awareness," did they also think of the possible angle that this could mean lesser interest for those who have already watched them? There could have been other ways to publicize it, considering the enormous fanbase of the animated series.
The summary of the five episodes are below:
Monday, Jan. 30: "Steven's Dream" – A strange dream prompts Steven to search for answers.
Monday, Jan. 30: "Adventures in Light Distortion" – Steven and the Gems take off on a search and recovery mission.
Tuesday, Jan. 31: "Gem Heist" – The Gems try to pull off a heist.
Wednesday, Feb. 1: "The Zoo" – Steven visits a special zoo.
Thursday, Feb. 2: "That Will Be All" – Steven and the Gems make a daring escape!
"Steven Universe" returns with the five new episodes starting Jan. 30 on Cartoon Network.