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“Desperate” Sex Hits YouTube,

WWW- Having fans type “Desperate sex” into their Web browsers was apparently not the sort of grassroots marketing campaign ABC was hoping for to hype one of its top shows.

The Alphabet Net is calling foul after a rough cut of a sex scene from the upcoming season of Desperate Housewives was leaked on YouTube nearly a month before the steamy footage was slated to air.

“We are looking into the unauthorized clips of Desperate Housewives on YouTube, and will be having them taken down,” an ABC rep said Friday.

The time-stamped, though fully edited, clip runs just over a minute and was made available by two separate YouTube posters–or at least by a YouTube devotee with more than one screen name–last Sunday. As of Friday morning, just one of the posts remained watchable. The scene features Bree (Marcia Cross) and new boytoy Orson (Kyle MacLachlan) in bed, with the underwear-clad housewife protesting her partner’s attempt to give her oral sex.

“I don’t do that,” she says. “I’m a Republican.”

“I’m a Libertarian,” Orson replies. “I believe in minimizing the role of the state and maximizing individual rights. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”

Orson then disappears offscreen while the camera cuts to a shot of a running faucet filling up a sink containing dirty dishes. As the sink runneth over, well, so does Bree.

(The scene is still available by searching YouTube for the TV couple’s fan-generated nickname, “Brorson.”)

Pirated though the clip may be, it’s not quite the first look its buzz would suggest. The climactic portion of the scene, without the pesky 50 or so seconds of foreplay, is included in an official promo for the show’s third season released earlier this month by the network.

ABC insists that no one at the network purposely leaked the footage in an attempt to goose interest in the show after what critics, fans and even producers agreed was a sophomore slump.

But, as pointed out by Variety, many industry types expressed disbelief that such top-secret footage could have been spread by a production assistant or other low-level staffer, suggesting that the leak was an intentional promotional ploy rather than a confidentiality breach.

“If it’s in-house, you have tight controls over who has access to [the footage],” an unnamed network production veteran told Variety. “And if it’s an outside facility, they can’t afford a leak. They know if there’s a leak, they’re [fired]. I’m suspicious.”

In any case, while pirated footage is nothing new for the Internet, the steamy Housewives scene may mark the first time an unaired TV segment has made it online–a development that’s already making the suits sweat.

“Can you imagine the resolution to a cliffhanger being put out there?” an unidentified network executive told the trade paper. “It could be a really big problem.”

Since the leak surfaced, there have been various reports claiming the scene, or at least the most salacious bits, had been removed entirely from the episode and was leaked online to drum up fan support to have the clip reinstated.

Regardless, there are still plenty of unseen scenes primed to air. Desperate Housewives kicks off its third season Sept. 24.



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