Why Networks Are Under Increased Pressure to Find Hits This Pilot Season — And Where Things Stand

Jan 22, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The broadcast networks are under increased pressure to find hits this pilot season, Nellie Andreeva writes on Deadline.com, after last year’s crop produced only three series that can be called hits — NBC’s "Revolution," The CW’s "Arrow" and CBS’s "Elementary."

The networks appear likely to order a number of pilots that will be on par with last year’s total of 89, including presentations, the story says.

Emerging as the pilot season’s most pursued actress is "Damages" star Rose Byrne, who has attracted offers for almost every female lead, the story says.

Andreeva wrote Monday that an “avalanche of pilot pickups” was expected today as network executives returned from the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

CBS has greenlighted six comedy pilots, and is "almost done" with its comedy orders. A few more may get a pickup, with one of the hopefuls being David E. Kelley’s comedy starring Robin Williams. Among dramas, it’s likely that "NCIS: LA’s” spinoff will get a space on the schedule.

"NBC has been as aggressive as usual with 10 pilots + one presentation (comedy starring Jessica Simpson) already ordered, almost half of what its haul is expected to be (10-12 comedy pilots, 10 dramas)," Andreeva writes.

Among the likely candidates are a new drama from "Revolution" executive producer J.J. Abrams and Anthony Zuiker’s version of "Alice in Wonderland," the story says.

"Fox and ABC have been surprisingly slow out of the gate this year. Fox, in particular, has only ordered one pilot so far, the untitled Dan Goor/Mike Schur comedy starring Andy Samberg," Andreeva writes. Fox "is in dire need of hits as none of its fall shows broke through."

Fox will likely pick up six drama pilots and seven to eight comedy pilots, with legal drama "Rake" starring Greg Kinnear likely to get a green light.

Andreeva adds: "ABC got off to a fast start — greenlighting Adam F. Goldberg’s ‘How the Hell Am I Normal?’ just before the holiday break in December. But since then, the network has only picked up one more pilot, comedy ‘Mixology.’"

Projects likely to get orders include Joss Whedon’s "S.H.I.E.L.D." and the comedies "Trophy Wife" and "Super Fun Night," the story adds.

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