Broadcast Networks on Track to Order Fewer Pilots This Year — and We Know Why

Feb 7, 2019  •  Post A Comment

The number of pilots ordered so far this season by ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW is just 59, meaning this year’s pilot season is “shaping up to be one of the leanest in recent memory,” Variety reports.

“That number also includes two straight-to-series orders at Fox and one at NBC,” Variety adds. “According to multiple sources, each of the networks is nearly done with its pilot orders for the season. Should the current pace of orders continue, that would put the total number of projects ordered this year in the low- to mid-60s. Compared with the 76 pilots ordered in 2018, this year will more than likely be down 10%-20% from last; that would mark the fewest number of pilot orders going back at least 7 years.”

The report cites agency sources saying the decline reflects “a shift in strategy by the broadcast networks, which are looking to be more targeted in deploying their resources to counter the deep pockets of cable and streaming platforms like Netflix.”

The report quotes CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl saying: “We take the responsibility very seriously of how we use our resources, and we don’t make pilots just for the sake of making them. We want to essentially guarantee that it’s worth making and might have a chance of getting on our air. But the actual number hasn’t been determined yet.”

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