Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pilots Go the Way of the Dodo

This came up in this morning's Cynopsis and I thought it might be interesting to people outside of the industry.

So much for "pilot" season at NBC. Jeff Zucker announced yesterday the network would no longer order up pilots as a matter of course each year leading into the upfront season, thereby saving the network tens of millions of dollars, reports The NY Times. Typically each year, NBC and the other broadcast networks order up a series of pilots for shows in development, choose a handful of them as potential primetime series in the upcoming season, and show the pilots to advertisers during the upfront season. No more, says Zucker. Rather, the network would order perhaps one or two pilots each season. Zucker says the reason for this decision is pure economics in light of the current WGA strike and due to the current US economy.

It certainly implies that the change is permanent, but I haven't gone straight to the source (not that that would definitively clear it up) so it could just be a 'this season' thing courtesy of the writer's strike.

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