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FOX bypassing Pilot Season

Fox chairman Kevin Reilly opened his executive session with a R.I.P. sign “Fox Pilot Season 1986-2013″ and stated that the network will not adhere to the traditional pilot season starting this year. “We are going to be bypassing pilot season,” he said. “The broadcast development system was built in different era with three networks and is highly inefficient. It is nothing short of a miracle talent can still produce anything of quality in that environment,” which includes ordering a ton of pilots, then screening them and making a decision over a two-week period, with the producers of the newly picked up series tasked with delivering a series on the air in six weeks. Reilly pointed to Lost co-showrunner Damon Lindelof’s comments last week that the slow-cooking development season in cable, where he works now on his HBO series Leftovers, is superior to broadcast, and said he fully agrees with him. “Every first-season show needs a course correction and reshoting,” he said, noting that one of cable’s biggest hits, FX’s Sons Of Anarchy, recast its lead and reshot a large chunk of the pilot, arguing that the broadcast model would’ve just discarded the inferior pilot and missed out on a hit show.

Reilly noted that, heading into the traditional pilot season, Fox already has 9-10 series in various stages of production, event series 24: Live Another Day, Wayward Pines, Gracepoint, comedy Mulaney, recently ordered drama Backstrom as well as a few pilots that Reilly envisions as series, with episodic pickups considered a formality, including drama comic book drama Gotham and comedy Fatrick. “I anticipate a few more ordered to series or production, and the balance pushed or ordered for summer and fall.”

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