In a rare move for the spoiler-averse premium cable outlet, HBO is offering the second episode of its newest hit fantasy series, "Westworld," online and on demand for early viewing ahead of its scheduled Sunday debut.

The episode, titled "Chestnut," was originally set to air for the first time on October 9. But Entertainment Weekly speculates that HBO decided to offer it early -- via its HBO Now, HBO Go, and HBO On Demand platforms -- to avoid any conflict with the second presidential debate, which is also scheduled for Sunday night.

Last Sunday, the "Westworld" premiere pulled in 3.3 million viewers -- HBO's biggest series premiere since the 2014 debut of "True Detective" -- so the cable outlet probably wanted to preserve some of those total viewership numbers for the show's sophomore episode. Still, it's a bit of a surprising decision, especially considering how protective the network is of its other prestige drama, "Game of Thrones," which famously stopped sending out advance screeners to critics ahead of the season six debut.

"Westworld" episode two is available now for HBO subscribers. It should be back to its regular schedule in time for episode three.

[via: Entertainment Weekly]