Volume well below pre-pandemic level, Covid changes settled – deadline

During the last two weeks of this year, on vacation traditionally closing Hollywood, top broadcast network executives spent a considerable amount of time reading pilot scripts before starting pilot pickup in early January. Announcing a masterpiece of the drama. The broadcast business tradition, already threatened by the rapidly evolving market with the rise of streamers, has been completely overturned by the pandemic.

Three weeks after the New Year, there were only three pilot pickups in January. NBC Drama Breakthrough When found When ABC comedy Joseph..

The pitch-buying season, which had been crawling further into the summer in the years prior to the pandemic, was delayed in late 2021. Lighter than usual, fewer projects by writers, (virtual) meetings. As a result, many of the projects delivered their first draft to the studio instead of the network before the holidays. This made it a more peaceful vacation for top network executives who never read their homework, and a very stressful vacation for studio executives. Crunch with delay in pilot order if prepaid delivery in May is not met. These concerns have been justified so far, and pilot orders are being tracked weeks behind schedule.

There is a protracted impact from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that wiped out 2020 Pilot season Filmed by pilots in the fall of 2020 and winter of 2021, many projects stopped production and threw a wrench in the traditional broadcast cycle, with many projects completely bypassing the pilot stage and going straight to the series. All major broadcast networks ordered off-cycle pilots in 2021. Some of them are fighting for next fall.

Before being wiped out by a pandemic, the 2020 broadcast pilot season has already set a new lowest point in volume with ABC. fox Announced a year-round development and transition to pilot production (called the second cycle by ABC).

The 2022 pilot season is expected to be well below pre-pandemic levels, with the total number of pilots in the 30s (conservative) and 40s (optimistic) range.

“I don’t think any network will be on either side of four or more pilots or the ball,” said one industry insider. They will represent their own destiny. “

Part of the decline is due to the evolution of the broadcast model and changes in the cycle (I’ve heard that some nets in December were already pitching for the 2022-23 development season). Partly due to increased financial pressure due to lower linear ratings. Pilot spending, even when network digital revenue is increasing. The fact that Big 4 did in the 2000s and early 2010s to secure more than $ 100 million for a small number of pilots to join the series is probably hard to justify in the current economic environment.

We also need to expect more procedural dramas based on the broadcasts of the last few years.Dick Wolf is now with NBC CBS via Chicago, Low & Order When FBI Franchises, and Fox are equally successful 9-1-1 Franchise.

Here’s how I hear things standing on each network. Bookmark Deadline for development news and a list of network pilots. Pilot panic page..

According to sources, ABC picked up Joe Coy’s comedy pilot last week. JosephIs aiming for a total of about two comedy pilot orders this month, two in a similar pattern on the drama side, later in the season, perhaps in March.

There are two off-cycle drama pilots in the network. Alaska project I heard that it suits the completed series order starring Hilary Swank, LA method A sequel and comedy starring Blair Underwood in production son in law, I’m casting.The script that has been talked about is Dianason’s Han’s house When Your relationship.

ABC has begun updating its current lineup with pickups from its strongest performer, the flagship drama. Grey’s Anatomy And spin-off Station 19.. On the comedy side dark Finished its execution and fellow veterans Goldberg It was a question mark about the end of a natural story and the drama behind the scenes. But the network Wonderful activities Reboot Abbott Elementary, Relieves pressure from comedy development. On the drama side, Queens Launched long before facing an unexpected challenge with the departure of co-leader Eve, who influenced the show.It is the debut of the soap drama that will appear Promised Land.

NBC Universal

NBC stuck to the script for the traditional pilot season this year and ordered two drama pilots this month. Breakthrough Reboot and Missing Person Drama found.. The network may order one or two more drama pilots, but comedy pilot pickups may be less than those in the drama.

The network is facing a big gap next season as its top drama this is us We are nearing the end. NBC has announced two new drama series so far this season. Labrea, Break out and win Season 2 updates.The other is Ordinary Joe, Very in the bubble. The network has just launched two new comedies, American Auto When Grand crewExpected to be a solid review Law and order Revival on the deck.

NBC has one off-cycle pilot, comedy I’m hungry, It remains active. Two that were running, Dangerous mom When Someone there, Is no longer active.

The network announced last year that they would buy the project in parallel with streamer Peacock, and the destination of each show will be decided later in the development process.


CBS traditionally places orders a little later than their counterparts. The network hasn’t picked up yet in this pilot season. The first green light is probably a week or so ahead, as the network is waiting for another 5-10 scripts to arrive.The network has one off-cycle pilot, drama Real lieCompleted in the fall, it is believed that there is a serious conflict.

One of the early hottest projects is starring Justin Hartley. Never game, Has a great commitment to pilot production, Cal Fire, Not just directors echo, East New York and NYPD drama, Hood, locksley When Post 12.

A longtime utility player in terms of inventory Bull Ends, but CBS finds a solid new entry in the drama NCIS: Hawaii, FBI: International When CSI: Vegas Not just a breakout comedy ghost..When CSI: Vegas Season 2 and the other three will be fully updated and there aren’t too many holes to fill.Even veterans NCIS, The outlook, which seemed volatile early in the season after star Mark Harmon was sent off, is doing well with new lead Gary Cole, and CBS Brass is happy with the transition.

CBS just started a new medical drama Good SamAlso, I plan to order about 4 dramas and 4 comedy pilots. Given the success of the network NCIS, FBI And although it’s a branch of CSI, I’ve heard that CBS may bypass the pilot phase of the 1-2 project again.


Fox sticks to the modified development model of the network introduced during the pandemic. This includes a combination of traditional pilot and writer room-to-series orders on the drama side, and a comedy presentation instead of a 30-minute pilot. Single cameras are quite expensive.

On the 30th minute side, I heard that Fox probably ordered 3-4 presentations and Michelle Nader’s project is considered one of the candidates. Network Brass Call me cat Beginning with pivot, And their performance influence comedy pickup decisions. (Fox is already looking for potential companions Call me a cat.).

Fox had one off-cycle pilot, Kyle Killen Last police, Network only passed.. I Fox may order one or two traditional drama pilots and a room for two to a series. Top candidates icon Music legend anthology series whose first edition is about Naomi and Wynonna Judd.

The network saw results mixed with the new drama of the season, Big leap When People of our kind Heavy on the bubble When Cleaning lady Get off to a promising start. Fox has already released two new drama series for the fall.Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa Defendant The anthology ordered in the direct series last year is on track with some completed scripts that the brass in the network is happy with. Shooting is scheduled to start in April.Network too push Country music dynasty drama Monarch From mid-season berth to autumn.

Fox will have more real estate to work in the fall Thursday night football You are away from the network. In an interview with Deadline earlier this week, Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn said this evening was “a top priority for us, and that’s what we’re strategically discussing right now.”

cw logo

In advanced negotiations for a majority stake sale, CW is a normal business. The network is rumored to be placing 4-6 orders. Perhaps it’s a mix of pilots and one or two direct pickups, with varying successes over the last two years.in the meantime Walker When Superman & Roys worked very well, 4400 He was a more modest performer.

This year’s notable outlook is said to include large-scale IP play such as DC. Gotham Knights And that Supernatural The day before Winchester.. The network has one pilot that has been taken over since last year. PowerpuffThere are two of the three leads, Dove Cameron and Yana Perot, and the third has not yet been recast.

Pending ownership changes could be a factor in this year’s CW renewal strategy. Networks usually cover most of the current slate very early this year (January to early February). It works with two networked studios, Warner Bros. TV and CBS Studios. The new majority owner may have a say in some updates that may be useful enough for the parent studio, but not for the linear and digital evaluation of the network.

Volume well below pre-pandemic level, Covid changes settled – deadline

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