Rose Parade

Rose Parade has moved: see link in post below

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Greenlight, go!

They’re off! First announcement of greenlit pilots in bulk, courtesy of today’s Hollywood Reporter. My job is about to get a whole lot more interesting. I have to keep track of all pilots out there as we try to land them as clients, then hope they get picked up. It’s actually one of the things I enjoy most about my job. Pilot season is an evolution I find fun and fascinating to watch. Here is the basic lifecycle of pilot season, broadcast network style: Fourth quarter 2005: With the fall season launched, the nets begin to line up pilot pitches for development. By the end of the year, I was tracking close to 200 pilots in development, during which time scripts are written in hopes that the network will like it enough to… Greenlight it! This means the pilot (and for now, only the pilot) will be produced. These announcements start in earnest in January, when everyone has had a chance to recover from the holidays and people who actually get hiatus (not me) have finally made it back into the office. And with the exception of a few shows which for various reasons will only produce a “pilot presentation” (a roughly 10-minute “clip” of the pilot), this means the show is going into full-blown production. And they go all out, because the pilot is what the network will judge to determine whether or not it becomes a series. Pilots will usually shoot in February and March, with post-production wrapping up in late April or the first week of May. Next step: the network upfronts. These take place in mid-May and while they serve as the official public announcements of what shows have been ordered to series, it’s actually a presentation of new shows to advertisers (the source of revenue for broadcast networks) to get them to buy time (commercials, also known as spots) during particular shows. The bigger the show promises to be in terms of viewership, the more expensive the spots, which is why you always hear so much about ads that run during the Super Bowl. The nets try to sell the bulk of their advertising time “upfront”, before the fall season actually starts, with presentations to advertisers featuring clips from the new shows and appearances by network honchos and cast members. After the upfronts, things get quiet until around July, at which time production offices start re-opening and pre-production gets underway. Most shows will debut in September, Fox sometimes will launch shows in August to hook viewers due to the World Series – the shows go on hiatus while Fox airs Major League Baseball’s championship series in October. They have done this in the past with shows including “The O.C.” and “Prison Break” with great success. By the end of September, most new shows have been launched (except those designated for mid-season). Then everyone takes a deep breath and it all starts again!


Post a Comment

<< Home