Recycle

According to an article at The Hollywood Reporter, the writer’s strike and imminent negotiations with the directors and actors may give TV networks the chance to break out of the development cycle. Each spring they fund many scripts that are produced as pilots (100+ per network), some of which are turned into pilots (around 25), few of which are turned into series (less than ten), few of which make it past the first twelve episodes (one or two make it). This costs millions of dollars – pilots cost an average of $5 million these days.

The strike and possible future strikes mean that the next cycle of development is threatened. The studios want to take this chance to get off the merry-go-round. They want to do this to save money. Writers and post-production people might find the crap-shoot that is pilot season frustrating, but they’ll miss it if it goes. The studios want to spend less money on producing content that will never get shown to an audience. That means less work for production teams.

This will only change once the networks convince the advertisers to support a new development process – where new shows can start at any time of the year. This is the way it used to work in the primordial days of TV and is the way in other countries. Which system is better for writers and editors?

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