Ken Levine Tells Us All We Need to Know About Next Fall’s Schedule

Cuz he knows it.

Really, no snark/irony/sarcasm intended. Smart man, is Mr. Levine:

What’s the latest on all those TV pilots?
by Ken Levine

pilot_logosThings are starting to fall into place for the networks’ fall schedules. Many of the pilots that they were so high on two weeks ago are dead. Sure things like BEVERLY HILLS COP didn’t make it on the CBS schedule. Other front runners are wondering what happened.

The networks went back to New York last week to cobble together their schedules. As a prominent agent once said, “Everything turns to shit over Mississippi.”

It’s why you can’t get too excited when the network is thrilled that you had a good table reading, or you hear it’s some executive’s pet project. And even if your pilot turns out great and tests well, there’s still no guarantee it will get on the air. Or if it does, not be relocated to next April. If a network is enamored by a star they’ll often pick up a show even though they know it still isn’t perfect. That’s the case with SUPER FUN NIGHT. But ABC so wants to be in business with star Rebel Wilson that they’re willing to pick it up and retool. The odd man out might be you.

FOX gave a series commitment to DADS, a multi-camera Seth MacFarlane vehicle – a commitment – and that one still needs plenty of work.

Now this isn’t to say that these two are unique cases – each year plenty of new shows get revamped,  recast, etc. between the time they’re picked up and aired – and it’s not to say that the revamping doesn’t sometimes result in successful series. HAWAII FIVE-O was tinkered with endlessly and did alright. Come to think of it they’re still tinkering (as well they should).   Parker Posey and Alex Kapp Horner were just replaced on their picked-up pilots.  (Talk about we have good news and bad news...)

not morkThe bottom line on why shows get picked up – need, scheduling requirements (e.g. we need another multi-camera sitcom to go with our Tim Allen existing multi-camera sitcom), commitments to producers and studios, and first and foremost – does the network own the show? If there’s one slot open on NBC and you have a show at Warner Brothers that’s going up against a show owned by NBC/Universal, who do you think has the edge?

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