Last year around this time, NBC and ABC led a series of intense bidding wars among the networks, often joined by FOX, as they aggressively gobbled up all of the new projects their money could buy. So far, the 2012 buying season has been a much slower affair and it appears that will continue to be the case. Even projects from top television writers and producers—already signed to multi-million-dollar overall deals—are being turned down left and right as the networks narrow their focus even more than usual. Instead of throwing away their money, NBC and ABC have both decided to adopt a revolutionary business strategy of only acquiring projects that they believe will actually make it to television.
This follows a shift at the end of the last development cycle when the broadcast networks signaled that they would be open to hiring less-experienced showrunners, as seven pilots helmed by relative newcomers to the game were picked up to series. One reason for the slow pitch season thus far is that two of NBC's top entertainment executives, Bob Greenblatt and Jennifer Salke, are in London for the Summer Olympics airing on the peacock network. Another theory is that many writers aren't available to pitch new projects because they are busy preparing for the production of their existing shows until September.
From where I sit, allowing fresh new voices to create television projects instead of relying on the older veterans of the industry can only be a good thing. Are you ready for some new ideas in your television programming?