Decades ago, the pageantry of initial aired pitches culminated in the shows’ big draw – with each network unveiling its fall schedule to advertisers. The spread of information in the age of the Internet has taken away the shock and awe of revelations as times are now announced in advance, while the proliferation of broadband, which allows people to watch the television at their own pace, took away the networks. relevance, because a growing share of viewing to broadcast programs comes from digital platforms.
Add to that the fact that broadcast networks have become a small part of media congloms’ portfolio presentation to advertisers and that the development cycle has changed post-pandemic, with only a portion of this year’s pilots in initial consideration, and the unveiling of a fall presentation schedule for May 2022 no longer has the importance and urgency it once had.
We could have the first initial broadcast where a network does not feature a fall schedule this year. I hear Fox plans to not unveil a grid during its May 16 event, the first day of the traditional initial week. In the non-traditional approach the network envisions, it would have a unified linear and streaming presentation, in which new and returning series from Fox will be highlighted, but the actual fall schedule could be released within days. later. For the time being, ABC, SCS, NBC and CT all plan to unveil fall schedules upfront, though ABC and NBC will only have a fraction of their pilots delivered and selected for review by then, so some fall 2022 schedules may look like to deja vu, remaining close to those of autumn 2021.
Keeping with a deadline tradition, below is a look at some of the early stars among the crop of 2022 broadcast pilots who should be a factor for the fall. As with any early buzz, take the information with an oversized grain of salt as there is still very little information on a number of drivers. The picture should become much clearer by the end of this week, as the bulk of the completed pilots will be shown over the next five days. This will be reflected in our next Buzz Pilot story. For this season’s notable trends, read Deadline’s 2022 pilot season: Pitch and writers rooms gain traction, comedy recedes as cycle expands beyond upfronts and 2022 pilot season: Projected volume well below pre-pandemic levels as Covid-mandated changes take hold.)
ABC has a handful of completed pilots it will consider for the fall, The recruit planted spinoff featuring Niecy Nash, the off-cycle drama pilots for the Project Alaska with Hilary Swank and a LA Law sequel, headlined by Blair Underwood, plus comedy pilots joseph and not dead yet. (As we reported last month, pilots ordered that won’t be ready for initial consideration include dramas The company you keep, Untitled Kay Oyegun, Will Trent and Untitled National Parks and Comedy The son-in-law. The Direct Drama of David E. Kelley Avalon is supposed to be for mid-season.)
Among the pilots of the fall, the Beginner the spinoffs seem to have the strongest buzz and seem likely to be on the schedule. With the mothership series already renewed, ABC will likely look to create a second two-hour franchise block in the mold of Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy. The Alaskan drama, which had some early momentum, appears to be picking up some of it before the home stretch with an ongoing search for a showrunner. Given LA Lawiconic IP status, the bar for tracking is very high.
The situation at CBS is very murky, as usual, as the network traditionally takes a deliberate approach, so favorites emerge later in the process. firefighter drama Cal Fire seems like a strong early star. Beyond that, there’s buzz around the First edition reboot, crime drama Eastern New Yorkhumorous presentation hugging machineand comedy pilot Rust Belt News. true lies was a puzzle. It was an off-cycle driver, so the network has had it for a while. He chose not to pull the trigger on a stock pickup, but also didn’t pass on the pilot. I hear not everyone at CBS likes it, but the pilot still has strong backing and could go for it, backed by a great offer.
NBC has only one drama pilot in consideration for the fall, quantum leapand two comedians, Lopez versus Lopez and Hunger. Dramas Uninterrupted and blank slate will conclude with the network presentation on May 16, but will not screen until after the premieres; I heard they would be considered for November 2022 or mid-season 2023. Found, the irrational and Untitled Mike Daniels will not be completed.
quantum leap, who has struck deals with writers, is seen as a very strong contender for a series order, with Raymond Lee getting props for what would be a starring lead role. It seems to be a toss-up between the two comedies, with Lopez versus Lopez, a collaboration between George Lopez and his daughter, says he has the edge right now. It also makes offers to writers.
Fox has only ordered one pilot during the traditional pilot window this year, a Untitled Michelle Nader comic presentation. (The network in 2020 changed its development model to include comedic presentations instead of full half-hour pilots that can get quite expensive when single-camera, and a mix of pilot orders and d traditional writers for drama.)
I heard Michelle Nader’s presentation was well received and looks good for a pickup. A dark comedy script, Cindy Snow by Steve Yockey, also warmed up.
Fox’s Drama Orders This Pilot Season – End of guard tour, Against all odds and Alert — any releases received from script-to-series engagements that involve additional scripts, format, or material. of the trio, Alert gained momentum for a time and was rumored for an initial series order.
The CW has ordered three pilots this season, all based on the underlying IP, Gotham Knights, Supernatural prequel The Winchesters and Walker origin story Walker: Independence. That’s half the number of pilots the CW used to pick up before the pandemic. The network has been very disciplined in its programming decisions this year as it is being sold while dealing with the effects of one of its two parent companies, Warner Bros., transitioning to new ownership after the merger of Discovery.
None of the pilots have yet been delivered as they have largely just finished production. The CW brass seem to be high on the three at first – with Walker: Independence get accessories to provide an expansive western feel, The Winchesters be considered the strongest attempt of a Supernatural spin-off to date, and Kings of Gotham considered another solid DC driver from Berlanti Prods. There’s a chance for all three to go to series, I hear. If that happens, there will likely be more cancellations, as the CW is aiming for a smaller overall number of new and recurring series than in previous years, and the decision on pilots would impact decisions on bubble series. .
As Deadline reported in the Bubble watch 2022 last month, the three remaining DC series at the time – veteran Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman and freshman Noemie – would be under study alongside the DC pilot Gotham Knights, and only about half of the four drafts were scheduled to make it to next season. batman and Gotham Knights take place in a similar universe, so it was likely that only one of them would be retained for next season.
On Friday, The CW canceled both batman and Legends of tomorrow. This greatly improves the odds for both a Gotham Knights pick up and Noemie renewal. Also works in Gotham Knights‘ favor is the fact that unlike batmanit is more tightly integrated into the Batman universe and has characters that appear in the Batman movies. If the DC drama is picked up, the network will likely have a sizzle reel to show announcers up front versus a full pilot due to the extensive post-production needed to add special effects.