Pilot Season 2022: Projected Volume Well Below Pre-Pandemic Levels As Covid-Imposed Changes Take Hold

Throughout the vacation spoil, which historically shuts down Hollywood for the closing two weeks of the year, top broadcast network executives damaged-the total manner down to exhaust a big half of their time reading pilot scripts sooner than kicking off pilot pickups to beginning with of January with early drama standouts. Broadcast replace traditions, already threatened by the quick evolving marketplace with the rise of streamers, have been fully upended by the pandemic.

Three weeks into the brand new year, we’ve only had three January pilot pickups: NBC dramas Quantum Leap and Stumbled on and ABC comedy Josep.

Pitch procuring season, whose beginning had been creeping extra and extra into the summer in the years sooner than the pandemic, was slack in 2021 — and lighter than normal with fewer projects taken out by writers and fewer pitches taken in by the networks for (digital) conferences. In consequence, many of the projects have been turning in first drafts to the studios — not the networks — sooner than the vacations, making for a more restful vacation spoil for high network executives and not utilizing a reading homework and a truly anxious one for studio executives who effort the crunch that may per chance per chance per chance well reach with a extend in pilot orders when up against the Can also merely upfront shipping closing dates. These fears have been justified thus some distance, with pilot orders tracking weeks boring agenda.

There are lingering results from the continuing coronavirus pandemic, which worn out the 2020 pilot season by shutting down manufacturing and threw a wrench in the used broadcast cycle, with pilots filming in descend 2020 and winter 2021 and a series of projects bypassing the pilot stage altogether to head straight-to-series. The final valuable broadcast networks ordered off-cycle pilots in 2021; about a of them are in opponents for subsequent descend.

Sooner than it was obliterated by the pandemic, the 2020 broadcast pilot season already had plight a brand new low mark for volume with moderately over 60 pilots ordered across the five broadcast networks after ABC and Fox had announced a shift to year-spherical vogue and pilot manufacturing (dubbed 2d cycle by ABC.)

The 2022 pilot season is anticipated to be effectively beneath that pre-pandemic stage, with a total volume of pilots in the 30s (conservative) 40s (optimistic) range.

“I don’t deem any network goes to close more than four pilots or either aspect of the ball,” one replace insider acknowledged. They’re going to be brokers of their possess doom.”

A few of the reduction is due to evolving broadcast fashions and shifting cycles (I hear some nets in December have been already taking pitches for the 2022-23 vogue season), and some of that is due to the increased monetary stress declining linear rankings have placed on pilot spending, even with networks’ digital income on the rise. Atmosphere apart more than $100 million for a handful of pilots to rep it to series — which the High-quality 4 had performed in the 2000s and early 2010s — may per chance per chance per chance additionally be arduous to account for in the present economic atmosphere.

Moreover, per what has been engaged on broadcast the closing couple of years, we’re going to must query more procedural dramas. Dick Wolf now controls three nights on NBC and CBS during the Chicago, Regulations & Tell and FBI franchises, and Fox in an analogous model has found out success with the 9-1-1 franchise.

Here is how I hear things stand at every of the networks. For vogue news and network pilot listings, bookmark Closing date’s Pilot Scare web page.

Per sources, ABC, which closing week picked up Jo Koy’s comedy pilot Josep, is eying about two comedy pilot orders total this month and two more later in the season, likely in March, with a identical sample on the drama aspect.

The network has two off-cycle drama pilots, the Alaska mission starring Hilary Swank, which has been performed and I hear is calling right for a series show, the LA Regulations sequel, headlined by Blair Underwood, which is in manufacturing, as effectively as comedy Son In Regulations, which is casting. Scripts that are being buzzed about encompass Diana Son’s Home Of Han and The Company You Preserve. 

ABC right started renewing its present lineup with pickups of its strongest performers, flagship drama Grey’s Anatomy and spinoff Blueprint 19. On the comedy aspect, dim-ish is ending its breeze and fellow veteran The Goldbergs has been a requirement mark over a pure storyline close level and boring-the-scene drama. However the network has found out actual new additions in The Shock Years reboot and Abbott Basic, relieving some stress off its comedy vogue. On the drama aspect, Queens launched effectively sooner than going through an unforeseen bid in the departure of co-lead Eve, which has impacted the display. Bobbing up is the debut of soapy drama Promised Land. 


NBC has caught to the used pilot season script the most this year, ordering two drama pilots this month, a Quantum Leap reboot and missing particular person drama Stumbled on. I hear the network may per chance per chance per chance additionally merely show 1-2 more drama pilots while its comedy pilot pickups would likely be fewer than the drama ones.

The network goes through a necessary void subsequent season as its top drama This Is Us is coming to an close. NBC has presented two new drama series thus some distance this season, with one, La Brea, breaking out and incomes a Season 2 renewal. The a lot of, Frequent Joe, is extraordinarily unparalleled on the bubble. The network right launched two new comedies, American Auto and Huge Crew, to actual studies, with the anticipated Regulations & Tell revival on deck.

NBC has one off-cycle pilot, comedy Hungry, that is still energetic. Two that had been in the working, Unhealthy Moms and Somebody Out There, are no longer energetic.

The network closing year announced that it is some distance also procuring projects in tandem with streamer Peacock, and a call the effect every display would breeze will likely be made slack in the approach direction of.


CBS historically makes its orders moderately later than its counterparts. The network is but to rep any pickups this pilot season, with the major greenlights likely per week or so away as the network is calling ahead to 5-10 more scripts to reach aid in, I hear. The network has one off-cycle pilot, drama Correct Lies, which was performed in the descend and is believed to be in serious opponents.

Among the projects which have been garnering early buzz are Justin Hartley-starring The Never Sport, which has a big pilot manufacturing commitment, Cal Fireplace, which has been attempting at directors, as effectively as Echo, East Fresh York and NYPD dramas, Hood, Locksley and Post 12.

Inventory-incandescent, longtime utility participant Bull is ending nonetheless CBS found out actual new entries in dramas NCIS: Hawai’i, FBI: Global and CSI: Vegas as effectively as breakout comedy Ghosts. With CSI: Vegas already renewed for Season 2 and the a lot of three fully anticipated to, there are likely to be not too many holes to beget. Even veteran NCIS, whose prospect appeared shaky early in the season, following the exit of star Designate Harmon, has been doing alright with new lead Gary Cole, and CBS brass have been elated with the transition.

CBS, which right launched new scientific drama Correct Sam, will likely be anticipated to expose spherical 4 drama and 4 comedy pilots. Given the success the network had with its straight-to-series orders for the NCIS, FBI and CSI offshoots, I hear CBS may per chance per chance per chance additionally merely again bypass the pilot stage for 1-2 projects.


Fox will stick with the modified vogue mannequin the network presented in the course of the pandemic, which features a aggregate of used pilots and writers rooms-to-series orders on the drama aspect as effectively as comedy displays in lieu of corpulent half-hour pilots that can fetch somewhat pricey when single-digicam.

On the half-hour aspect, I hear Fox would potentially show 3-4 displays, with a mission from Michelle Nader believed to be among the contenders. The network brass are impressed by the return of Name Me Kat and the beginning of Pivoting, and their performance will impact the comedy pickup selections. (Fox already is eying capacity companions for Name Me Kat.)

Fox had one off-cycle pilot, Kyle Killen’s The Final Police, which the network right passed on. I Fox may per chance per chance per chance additionally merely show 1-2 used drama pilots and 2 room-to-series. High contenders encompass the Icon music narrative anthology series whose first installment will most definitely be about Naomi and Wynonna Judd.

The network saw blended consequence with its new dramas this season, with The High-quality Leap and Our Variety Of Of us intently on the bubble and Cleaning Woman off to a promising beginning. Fox already has two new drama series on tap for descend. Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa’s The Accused anthology, which was ordered straight-to-series closing year, is heading in the suitable direction with a lot of performed scripts which the network’s brass are elated with. It is slated to beginning up shooting in April. The network also right pushed country music dynasty drama Monarch from its midseason berth to descend.

Fox will have more right property to work in the descend as Thursday Evening Soccer is leaving the network. Fox Leisure President Michael Thorn known as the night “a big priority for us and that’s one thing we’re strategically discussing appropriate kind now” in an interview with Closing date earlier this week.

The CW

It’s replace as normal on the CW amid developed talks for a majority stake sale. The network is rumored to be making 4-6 orders — likely a aggregate of pilots and 1-2 straight-to-series pickups which the network has employed with a particular level of success over the previous two years. Whereas Walker and Superman & Lois have performed very effectively, The 4400 has been a more modest performer.

This year’s hot prospects are acknowledged to encompass gigantic IP performs such as DC’s Gotham Knights and the Supernatural prequel The Winchesters. The network has one pilot carried over from closing year, Powerpuff, which has two of its three leads in Dove Cameron and Yana Perrault, with the third one but to be recast.

The pending possession change is progressively a ingredient in the CW’s renewal approach this year. The network customarily picks up the giant majority of its present slate very early in the year (January-early February), which works for the two studio that present it, Warner Bros. TV and CBS Studios. A brand new majority owner will likely have a enlighten in one of the necessary renewals that will reduction effectively the mum or dad studios nonetheless not the network’s linear and digital rankings.

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