A Desperate Housewives bedroom scene involving the ABC series' character Bree and a boyfriend was pulled from the YouTube website after network owner Walt Disney Co complained.
"This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Disney because its content was used without permission," was the message that greeted YouTube visitors who tried to call up the clip after Disney's protest.
The scene is a rough cut from an upcoming episode of the hit series, Daily Variety reported yesterday. Network and studio executives, who were not identified, told the trade paper the clip was not leaked to foster publicity for the show's upcoming third season, which starts in the US this month.
In the scene, Bree, who is played by series star Marcia Cross, is seen in bed with new lover Orson, played by Kyle MacLachlan. She resists his offer to perform a sexual act, saying, "I'm a Republican", then gives in.
Although networks increasingly rely on the internet for promotion of their series, the possibility of pirated clips making their way online could threaten shows trying to keep plot twists a secret.
A call to ABC for comment and to find out if the scene will be airing as shown online was not immediately returned.
YouTube, by some measures, is the leading video-sharing site on the internet. It says 60,000 new videos are posted daily by amateurs and professionals.