Category: News

#PilotSeason by the numbers, the genres, the genders & the studios [2017 Edition]

BY THE NUMBERS

ALL DRAMA & COMEDY PILOTS ORDERED IN 2017


ALL PILOTS & STRAIGHT-TO SERIES ORDERED BY YEARS


ALL DRAMA PILOTS ORDERED BY YEARS & BY NETWORKS  
 

DRAMA & COMEDY PILOTS ORDERED BY YEARS

 

ALL DRAMA & COMEDY STRAIGHT-TO SERIES ORDERED BY NETWORKS & YEARS

While the era of so-called Peak TV is in full force, the Big Five have ordered less drama and comedy pilots than last year and the years before. They are 76 in 2017, they were 86 in 2016 and 95 in 2014 ! In the details, ABC is on par with last year (even though they have a very strong comedy brand and don’t need much more), as well as CBS & The CW. But NBC ordered way less, simply because they needed less with a schedule already full and the Olympics coming in 2018. They went from 13 comedy pilots in 2016 to only 8 this year. They still have a hard time creating their comedy brand but they finally have a few comedies to stick with (Superstore, The Good Place), plus the return of Will & Grace for a short season. In the meantime, FOX picked-up less drama pilots (with one now shooting off season and other one pushed), meaning they will probably ordered most of them to series if they want new things to launch next season. They have one straight-to-series order: Orville. Will the networks order less shows during the upfronts? Doesn’t seem likely, though the fact that failing series are rarely pulled off the air nowadays doesn’t leave much space for new things. As usual, some of them will be pushed to summer with a lesser chance to shine.

BY THE GENRES

In 2016, legal drama pilots were back, probably because The Good Wife was ending and the networks felt like there was a hole to fill in that department. It didn’t result in many orders though. During this year’s development season, both CBS & NBC bet heavily on legal projects but very few got the greenlight as you can see: only three, including Shondaland’s Black’s Law. Medical dramas are on par with 2016: The Good Doctor at ABC, Shelter at NBC, The Resident and The Beast at FOX. CBS doesn’t have one this year, while Code Black is in danger again and Pure Genius likely cancelled. Cop shows/Detective dramas are also on par, with CBS having less than usual and ABC having more than usual.

The action and thriller pilots have exploded and it’s partly due to this year’s crave for military shows in the Post-Trump era: For God & Country at NBC, Behind Enemy Lines at FOX, Navy SEAL at CBS & Valor at The CW. There are more fantasy & sci-fi pilots in 2017, which doesn’t really make sense since the time-travel shows launched this year all failed to various degrees. No time travel this time, no horror either, but virtual reality (Reverie at NBC), monsters (Searchers at The CW), mutants (Gifted at FOX), vampires (The Passage at FOX) and The Inhumans from Marvel at ABC.

As expected between the successes of Empire & This Is Us, drama soaps are back in the game but we can’t really talk about a trend yet. Maybe next year. The CW is rebooting Dynasty & is trying a family dramedy (Life Sentence); ABC asked Marc Cherry back with mystery soap Bluegrass/Blood Red; while NBC needs something to pair This Is Us with so Good Girls and Rise look like the perfect candidates.


COMEDY FORMATS BY NETWORKS


COMEDY FORMATS BY YEARS

CBS is still looking for a success in the single-camera comedy department and may have found one with Young Sheldon, a prequel spin-off of The Big Bang Theory. Most of the other pick-ups are for multicamera comedies except Real Life from How I Met Your Mother creators which is an hybrid. At NBC, there’s only one multicamera pilot (Relatively Happy) while they have straight-to-series new season of Will & Grace. Pairing them seems to be the best option… For the first time in years, ABC has 3 multicamera pilots, while Last Man Standing and Dr Ken don’t seem to be in immediate danger. Is the network aiming for an expansion on fridays? FOX is going full single-camera comedies, as they should.

BY THE GENDERS

It’s getting better! Male creators are still in vast majority but women writers got more pick-ups than usual, especially at The CW. FOX has also improved, while ABC & NBC are on par with previous years -they always did better than the others- and CBS is still the black sheep with only 3 pilots overall (two dramas, one comedy) written by females. Please not the numbers for female and male directors are not yet available but we’re heading towards a dramatic fall after a one-year rise.

In 2016, more pilots than usual were centered around women characters, except at FOX where there was not a single one; and at CBS which didn’t order the few they had in store to series, except Katherine Heigl’s Doubt. This year, there are slightly less female-led shows & also less ensemble shows. It means there are more male-lead shows, especially in the comedy department.

BY THE STUDIOS

With networks ordering almost exclusively pilots produced in-house now, Warner Bros. Television & Sony Pictures Television had a harder time getting pick-ups in 2016 but they were stronger than ever on the cable side. This year, Sony went more agressively and has doubled their pilot pick-ups while Warner Bros. has the exact same number. Every other studios are down since the overall number of pick-ups is down itself. ABC is the most generous network with 10 pilots from outside studios among the 24 ordered, while FOX only has one pilot not-produced in house among their 13!

SEE ALSO:

#PILOTSEASON BY THE CITIES

#PILOTSEASON BY THE CALENDAR

Graphics by @_PIAIR

#PilotSeason By The Calendar

 

January 30

LIBBY & MALCOLM (ABC)

 

February 27

GOOD GIRLS (NBC)

 

March 3

MARVEL’S  INHUMANS (ABC)

 

March 7

SEARCHERS (The CW)

 

March 9

DECEPTION (ABC)

 

March 13

BLACK’S LAW (ABC)

DOOMSDAY (ABC)

FOR GOD AND COUNTRY (NBC)

INSTINCT (CBS)

LIFE SENTENCE (The CW)

PERFECT CITIZEN (CBS)

REVERIE (NBC)

SPACED OUT (NBC)

THE TRUSTEE (ABC)

UNIT ZERO (ABC)

 

March 14

DISTEFANO (CBS)

THE CROSSING (ABC)

THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN (ABC)

SALAMANDER (ABC)

 

March 15

RAISED BY WOLVES (ABC)

 

March 16

BLUEGRASS / BLOOD RED (ABC)

HIGHER GROUND (CBS)

MISSION CONTROL (CBS)

RAPPER MAYOR (ABC)

WHAT ABOUT BARB? (NBC)

 

March 17

LAS REINAS (ABC)

 

March 18

SHELDON (CBS)

 

March 20

BEHIND ENEMY LINES (FOX)

BLACK LIGHTNING (The CW)

CONTROVERSY (FOX)

RISE aka Drama High (NBC)

GHOSTED (FOX)

INSATIABLE (The CW)

ME, MYSELF AND I (CBS)

UNTITLED NAVY SEAL DRAMA (CBS)

UNTITLED X-MEN PROJECT (FOX)

VALOR (The CW)

WIDSOM OF THE CROWD (CBS)

 

March 21

DYNASTY (The CW)

THE GOOD DOCTOR (ABC)

SPLITTING UP TOGETHER (ABC)

START UP (ABC)

 

March 22

AMY’S BROTHER (FOX)

CHARLIE FOXTROT (ABC)

THE GET (CBS)

LOSING IT (ABC)

REDLINERS (NBC)

SWAT (CBS)

THE GOLDBERGS SPIN-OFF (ABC)

TYPE A (FOX)

 

March 23

AP BIOLOGY (NBC)

JALEN VS EVERYBODY (ABC)

 

March 27

LINDA FROM HR (FOX)

THE BEAST (FOX)

UNTITLED KALING/GRANDY COMEDY (NBC)

UNTITLED REV RUN COMEDY (ABC)

 

March 31

HOUSEHOLD NAME (ABC)

REAL LIFE (CBS)

 

April 3

LA -> VEGAS (FOX)

THIN ICE (FOX)

 

April 4

HANNAH ROYCE’S QUESTIONABLE CHOICES (CBS)

 

April 13

UNTITLED SINGLE DAD COMEDY (ABC)

 

April 18

BROTHERED UP (CBS)

 

April 19

9J, 9K, 9L (CBS)

 

April 27

GONE (NBC)

 

Mid-June

THE PASSAGE (FOX)

 

See Also

#PILOTSEASON by the Cities

 

#PilotSeason By The Cities (2017 edition)

 

>>> Click here to enlarge the map <<<

(not your penis – this joke never gets old!)

 

As less broadcast pilots have been ordered overall this year, Los Angeles is the city that suffers the most with only 7 drama pilots shot over there compared to last year’s 11, though it’s still more than 2014 all-time low of dismal 5. But L.A. is compensating with 4 straight-to-series order: Marvel’s Inhumans, 10 Days In The Valley, Orville Law & Order True Crime, while most of comedy pilots, both singlecam & multicam, are shot there too (all but one: Zach Braff’s Start Up shooting in New York) as well as many cable and streaming series. The state of California also has 2 other pilots in the running: El Jefe (that has just been pushed off-cycle by CBS) and military drama Behind Enemy Lines, while Pitch may or may not get a second season on FOX.

New York & Atlanta are rebounding from 2016 with 7 pilots each, instead of 5 and 4 respectively. Plus, the Big Apple has a deal with Disney/Marvel for Netflix series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, The Defenders…), which is the largest film or television production commitment in New York State! 5 of the 6 pilots ordered by The CW will be shot in Atlanta, while the city is losing The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf, which are coming to an end (The Originals may join them). It has a logic for a pilot like Dynasty, which is set there; less for Life Sentence, which is supposed to take place in… Portland! Remember Atlanta is also the home of The Walking Dead.

Canada is down overall. Vancouver is welcoming 6 pilots (4 of them are for ABC), one more than last year. Many movies and series are already shot there (especially the DC Comics shows) and as a consequence it has been hard to find crews and production facilities available for pilots. But it’s harder for Toronto, which has only 1 pilot against 5 in 2016.

Most of the other cities are getting one or two pilots, including Chicago, Austin, Dallas and Miami, while New Orleans is back in the game with the CBS Navy Seal project. Missing are Las Vegas, Boston, Salt Lake City and Wilmington, while Marvel’s Inhumans will partially shot in Hawaii.

Exotic locations are rare again this year, with no pilot shot entirely in Europe (only a few scenes for Behind Enemy Lines in Prague), but one in South Africa (The CW’s Searchers) and one (partially) in Morocco.

Of course, those which will be granted a series order in May could move to some place else. For example, How To Get Away With Murder pilot was shot in Phildalphia before moving to Los Angeles for the rest of the show.

 

MAP designed by @_Piair

 

THE FULL LOCATIONS LIST

ALBUQUERQUE
MISSION CONTROL

ATLANTA
BLACK LIGHTNING
BLUE GRASS BLOOD RED
DYNASTY
INSATIABLE
LIFE SENTENCE
THE RESIDENT
VALOR

AUSTIN
THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN

CHICAGO
CONTROVERSY

DALLAS
UNTITLED XMEN DRAMA

LOS ANGELES
THE BEAST
BLACK’S LAW
THE GET
GOOD GIRLS
LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: MENENDEZ
ORVILLE
SWAT
UNIT ZERO

MIAMI
LAS REINAS

NEW ORLEANS
NAVY SEAL PROJECT

NEW YORK
DECEPTION
DRAMA HIGH
HIGHER GROUND
KILLER INSTINCT
REDLINERS
SALAMANDER
SALVATION

PITTSBURGH
GONE

SAN DIEGO
EL JEFE

SOUTH AFRICA
SEARCHERS

TORONTO
PERFECT CITIZEN

VANCOUVER
THE CROSSING
DOOMSDAY
THE GOOD DOCTOR
REVERIE
THE TRUSTEE
WISDOM OF THE CROWD

LOS ANGELES / CHICAGO / HAWAII
MARVEL’S INHUMANS

LOS ANGELES / SAN DIEGO / PRAGUE
BEHIND ENEMY LINES

MAROCCO / ALBUQUERQUE
FOR GOD & COUNTRY

SCOOP: The CW mulling a series order for “The Lost Boys” TV remake

Contrary to recent reports, The CW won’t wait before next season to give a chance to its The Lost Boys TV series by Veronica Mars & iZombie‘s creator Rob Thomas. 

As The CW will bid farewell to The Vampire Diaries next friday, other vampires are almost ready to be unleashed. The Lost Boys’ ambitious new take on the 1987 Joel Schumacher movie won’t have to wait until next season to see the light of day, unlike the Charmed reboot that is not ready yet. The network is prepping a straigh-to-series order for the Rob Thomas show, without going to the traditional pilot stage. Shooting on the series could start as soon as this spring in Los Angeles, though nothing is set in stone. No word yet on the number of episodes and a potential air date.

Envisioned for a seven-season, anthology-style run, The Lost Boys series will tell a story spanning 70 years, each season chronicling a decade. Season 1 will be set in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, 1967. Each season, the humans, the setting, the antagonist and the story all change — only the vampires, our Lost Boys, who like the Peter Pan characters never grow up, remain the same.

Thomas will exec produce via his Spondoolie Productions banner alongside frequent collaborators Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge. Gulfstream Television’s Juliana Janes, Mike Karz and Bill Bindley are also on board after the production company came up with the idea to remake the feature film. Warner Bros. Television is the studio.

SEE OTHER THE CW PILOT ORDERS

SCOOP: NBC bets on musical soap “Drama High” by Jason Katims & “Hamilton” producers

   

Missing Glee? NBC is working on a new teen musical soap written by Friday Night Lights & Parenthood creator Jason Katims with the “Hamilton” team producing. 

Drama High tells the story of Lou Mazzuchelli, a litterature teacher in his forties in a Pennsylvania high school, who is appointed by the principal to take over and modernize the theater program that is dying. He chooses the provocative and emotional rock musical Spring Awakening –about teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality in late-19th-century Germany- as their first production. A choice that won’t be without consequences for the students and their families in this “Americana” town… It is based on the true story of the first-ever high school production of Spring Awakening that made headlines back in 2011.

The drama project about to get an official order looks like a mix between Smash, about the creation of a Broadway musical, and teen soap Glee with a more grounded feel thanks to Jason Katims. Plus, he already wrote for teenage characters in critically-acclaimed Friday Night Lights and family drama Parenthood. He also executive produces alongside partner Michelle Lee under their overall deal with Universal Television. Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez, producers of Tony-Award-Winning hip-hop musical Hamilton, are also producing through their production deal with Universal signed last year.

SEE ALL PILOT ORDERS AT NBC

PILOT WHISPERER: New edition #PilotSeason

First published on December, 07

2017 pilot season officially started yesterday when ABC ordered political comedy pilot Libby & Malcolm starring Felicity Huffman and Courtney B. Vance as we reported 3 weeks ago. Other comedies are nearing pilot orders while deals are being worked out.

 

At ABC, the next one on the list is Rapper Mayor / Untitled City Mayor Project, that could be descrided as a comedic version of hit Designated Survivor. It is about Courtney Rose, a talented but struggling hip-hop artist, who runs for mayor to promote his mixtape – and wins. The guy is a quitenssential optimistic, a dreamer through and through. He’s the coolest, most fun dude in town, and if you don’t believe it, just ask him and he’ll tell you… It’s created by Jeremy Bronson, writer and producer on The Mindy Project and Speechless, and produced by Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings) for ABC Studios. The casting for the leading man is underway. PICKED-UP

The multicamera comedy project Documenting Love, sort of a Mad About You new generation has a pilot production commitment, as well as thriller drama Doomsday from Sony Pictures Television about a secret think tank featuring the most creative minds in science and entertainment that is tasked with dreaming up man-made disaster scenarios and their possible solutions. PICKED-UP  DTLA, about a celebrity choreographer who must fight to protect her status, family, business and secrets, is heating up. The Untitled Marc Cherry drama with Reba McEntire is already ordered to pilot.

Comedy Start Up starring Zach Braff is inching closer to a pick-up PICKED-UP, as well as Splitting Up Together produced by Ellen De Generes  PICKED-UP and Charlie Foxtrot from Aaron Kaplan PICKED-UP. A not-yet-announced project starring basketball player Jalen Rose, Jalen vs Everybody, and written by Nahnatchka Khan, is heating up. PICKED-UP

 

At CBS, the Untitled Chris Distefano Hybrid Comedy Project is heating up. Written and produced by How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas. Inspired by comedian Chris Distefano’s life story, the hybrid project is centered on Izzy and Chris, two 20-somethings who are raising their newborn daughter and merging their loud families – one Puerto Rican, one Italian… PICKED-UP

Me, Myself and I is also on the map. The single-camera comedy which examines one man’s life over a 50-year span, somewhat in the vein of movie Boyhood, has a put pilot. PICKED-UP And of course, the order for The Big Bang Theory spin-off Sheldon is just a formality. UPDATE: World Wide Webbs, a comedy about a family who became rich and famous thank to their daily video blogs, is on tracks for an order.

On the drama side, quirky cop show Magnolia Springs about a sheriff and his teenage son solving crimes in a small city is gearing up towards a pick-up, casting is underway. Firewall, a new procedural from Mentalist creator, is also hot. Luc Besson’s Hunch, about a LAPD detective who begrudgingly teams up with a celebrity psychic who, unfortunately, is also his ex-wife, should get the nod soon; as well as Justin Lin’s SWAT,  a reboot of the 1970s series billed as an intense, action-packed procedural following an African-American SWAT lieutenant torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers. PICKED-UP

 

At NBC, while Amy Poehler’s off-cyle pilot The Baby starring Seann William Scott will shoot in a few days, the Untitled Kourtney Kang Comedy produced by Fresh Off The Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan is red hot. It explores what it’s like to grow up as the only girl in the only mixed race family in the suburbs of Philadelphia, dealing with real-world issues like race and gender while never losing focus of her life goal… to become a Laker Girl like her idol, Paula Abdul. PICKED-UP

In the drama department, the peacock has medical drama Salvation directed by Paul Haggis awaiting green light. It is billed as the first real-time hospital “extreme event” show, capturing the life-and-death choices nurses, PA’s and other front-line caregivers make as they struggle to provide care and triage. PICKED-UP Legal drama Blood Defense, based on Marcia Clark’s book about a relentless criminal attorney, is red hot for a pick-up, as well as Family Honor, from Matt Reeves, a police procedural told through the eyes of four diverse foster sisters. The Last Policeman is close to a pick-up. It follows a detective in New Hampshire during the final years of civilization as a catastrophe-level asteroid hurtles toward the planet. Heavy serialized legal drama Flight Risk from John Wells is also considered. Drama High, an high-school drama with musical elements written and produced by Jason Katims (Parenthood) with Hamilton producers Jeffrey Seller & Flody Suarez is red hot. PICKED-UP Last drama pilot order at NBC should go to Redliners, adapted from Charlaine Harris’ short stories, that mixes romance and espionnage about a pair of former spies living in suburbia who are reactivated when a failed hit on one of them leaves the assassin dead. PICKED-UP

 

At FOX, DC’s Black Lightning is almost a done deal PICKED-UP AT THE CW, as is Matt Nix’s untitled family superhero drama at Marvel in the X-Men Universe PICKED-UP. The network is just waiting for the final pilot script. Dr House creator David Shore could be back at FOX with an untitled project about a professional spy who teams up with an enterprising civilian to solve cases here and abroad. Control, by Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joyce, is heating up.

Comedy Thin Ice from New Girl creator is already ordered to pilot. Other comedy heating up is Turned On, directed by Paul Feig, about a brilliant but awkward engineer who creates an android who spirals out of control… The Untitled Wresting Comedy produced by Dwayne Johnson, Will Ferrell & Adam McKay, is also very much on the map.

 

At The CW the Charmed reboot seems to be a priority. Searchers pilot from The 100 creator Jason Rothenberg & Greg Berlanti is a sure thing, with a shooting expected to take place in South Africa. PICKED-UP Transience produced by Ian Somerhalder, is heating up, as well as LA Demonic for Warner Bros.

 

More to come…