FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly delivered some big news at Monday's Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour: he's bypassing the network's regular pilot season in order to focus on projects year-round.
Reilly kicked off the TCA discussion by announcing: “RIP pilot season, 1986-2013,” which was recevied with some laughs, even though he was being dead serious. Though the announcement seems like a surprise, Reilly and his team have been stocking up on projects to make it happen for a while.
Instead of focusing on pilot orders during a set time, Reilly will focus on series throughout the year. Reilly revealed he has nine projects in some stage of development, but not one pilot order.
“The broadcast development system was built in different era and is highly inefficient,” he said, before adding that he basically blames cable for his decision. “It is nothing short of a miracle that talent can still produce anything of quality in that environment. When they are competing, frankly, with a huge swath of cable that has a lot of flexibility and order pattern and flexibility in when the shows can go on, cable networks are able to course correct creatively and reshoot and recast."
Despite Reilly's new broadcast business model, he said he will still order a few pilots, particularly comedies, because they tend to be on the cheaper side. But even then, those pilots will be spread out throughout the year.