LB: So Here’s Where We are with the 2014 People’s Pilot

sshollywoodsignby Larry Brody

What a treat!

I’ve been going through the entries in the People’s Pilot that closed last Sunday, and I’m filled with a feeling not unlike joy. In fact, I’m so pleased that the only thing that could make the feeling better would be that slight leap up to ecstasy that just a smidgen of sex might bring…oh, wait. TMI, right? Sorry.

As I was saying – A preliminary look at this year’s People’s Pilot entries as we organize them to begin the judging has been both enlightening and entertaining, and I’d like to share what I’ve found. So:

  1. Last year, the PP received more entries than ever before in its history. This year we stayed at the same, higher level. I mean, okay, we had one fewer entry, but that’s still amazingly close. Thanks for sticking with us, TV series creators of the future! You’re the best.
  2. Last year, 54% of the entries were half-hour shows and 46% were one-hours. This year, 41% are half-hours and 59% are one-hours. Which makes sense because the percentages almost perfectly reflect the proportion of half-hour to hour shows that have been on U.S. TV season during the last two seasons. Is it a good sign that the contest entrants have been so in tune with what TV execs are doing?  Or does it prove that the Entertainment Apocalypse is getting way too close?  Food for thought…if you’re the type who eats, um, thoughts.
  3. A cursory scanning of the scripts themselves indicates that almost all of the half-hour entries are pure sitcoms, with animated action shows being the exception. And science fiction and fantasy seem to dominate the one-hour category with a full 30% of the shows falling into one or both of those genres. I remember when any show that wasn’t about cops, or maybe doctors who behaved like cops, was anathema. But for now those days are gone, gone, gone.
  4. Those of you who entered still have an amazing ability to come up with outstanding titles, like:
  5. Speaking of titles, one-word titles ruled. 35% of the half-hour entries have one-word titles. As does a fascinating 42% of the one-hour shows. I especially enjoyed these, which seemed to embrace the same theme:
  6. More about titles (hey, they’re all I’ve read so far). My half-hour favorite title is ROACH COACH. My one-hour fave is SOCIOPATHS. (I really am giving away much to much about myself, aren’t I?)
  7. Most intriguing premise so far – because we only know the premises of entries that included a logline on the actual entry form: YOUNG WILL – “Young Will Shakespeare works as a spy for Elizabeth I…teamed with…the woman he later immortalizes in his Dark Lady sonnets.” (Yes, it’s true. Shakespeare’s the kind of dood who gets me all fired up. Which may well be my most astounding self-revelation yet.)

Our plan, now that we’re only judging one contest at a time (don’t worry, the Spec Scriptacular will be opening soon), is to speed up the decision-making process. If all goes well, we’ll start announcing Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Winners in July. Yeppers, we’re talking next month. So keep checking back. Nothing’s worse than being a winner and not even knowing it. That, after all, would be like being back in high school…and that’s a place no one wants to go.

Thanks again to everyone for taking part and being so damned talented!






About LB

Larry Brody has been profiled in such national magazines and websites as Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Starlog, People, Electronic Media, IndieSlate, TechTV, io9, and of course TV Guide. A legendary figure in the television writing and production world, with a career going back to the late ’60s, Brody has written and produced literally thousands of hours of network and syndicated television. Brody has also been active in the TV animation world, writing, creating, consulting, and/or supervising the cult favorite STAR TREK animated TV series, the SILVER SURFER, SPAWN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, and SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED animated series, and was showrunner of the French animated series, DIABOLIK, as well as part of the team that developed and wrote the live-action/cgi animation sci-fi series Ace Lightning for the BBC. Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys.