Networks Want to Know: Where are the New Series Pitches?

We can give a quick answer: The pitches are everywhere. You doofusses just don’t know where the $#@! to look!

Um, not true. Lying liars, etc.

Pitch Season Starts Slow, NBC And ABC To Scale Back On Development Volume – by Nellie Andreeva

Exactly a year ago, at its TCA executive session NBC announced several projects in development, including a Dick Wolf-produced firefighter drama, which became the network’s upcoming drama series Chicago Fire. This year there has been only one big sale so far — the Alex Kurtzman/Roberto Orci-written and Len Wiseman-directed Sleepy Hollow, which went to Fox with a put pilot commitment.

Pitch season is starting late and is shaping up to be calmer, with less action. I hear NBC and ABC, the most aggressive players last year, are paring down the number of projects they will buy and money they will spend. With a new regime and stuffed coffers, NBC went on a buying spree last summer, joined by ABC. The two networks often ended up in heated bidding wars, sometimes joined by Fox, driving up prices and leading to a slew of big commitments…. I hear NBC and ABC now plan to spend less and go only after projects they fully believe can get to the air. Fox also will be more targeted in its approach as the network accomplished its goal of assembling a two-hour comedy block, so its comedy needs are not as great…

As to what is causing the late start of selling action, there don’t seem to be enough writers ready to pitch. The studios have most hot writer-producers locked into “showveralls”, overall deals that tie them to a show. Because now is the most crucial time for series’ writing teams when they finish breaking stories for the season and start churning out scripts for production to begin, most scribes won’t be available to work on pitches until September. So while Independence Day marks the unofficial start of pitch season, the real action this season will likely begin after Labor Day.

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Did we say “doofusses?” Let’s go further: If these deliberately ignorant morons knew anything about creativity and/or what audiences want to see, instead of waiting for already overworked showrunners to scurry in with hastily scribbled ideas they would open up the development process to as many new, hungry writers as possible. Because that’s where they’ll find the originality that TV viewers crave.