January 24, 2008 Jill

Everyone’s eulogizing the pilot today. I’m trying not to take the move to eliminate pilots personally. I start a blog to write about pilots and then they decide to stop making them. It’s crazy talk to think there’s a connection. This has nothing to do with karma.


Let’s focus on the good news.

Earlier this week we got the news that David Milch is creating a new show for HBO. The Last of the Ninth is set in the New York City Police Department in 1972.

Now today the excellent word that Steven Bochco is creating a new show for TNT. Raising the Bar follows the lives and cases of lawyers who have been friends since law school, but now represent different interests.

We haven’t heard much from Bochco lately and now here is coming back to us on TNT. I think this is good news because they will allow him to push some limits. I’m excited.

Comment (1)

  1. I’m not sure I buy into the “pilots are dead” theory either. I’m not in show biz, but I have seen a couple of failed pilots. Judging by that, I can see where each of their concepts might have seemed attractive, and I can see why they failed. (i.e. narrow audience, cast doesn’t gel, seemed golden on paper but looks like a turkey onscreen, etc.)

    It seems to me that pilots serve as a “proof of concept”. If you’re a network suit, and you’re about to spend money on a show, you’d want to see how it actually plays, rather than hope that the interesting scripts that you’ve read and the proposed cast list pan out. Or are they seriously going to order six or so episodes and then begin broadcasting them and hope they work out?

    Maybe I don’t get it (er…very probably I don’t get it) but wouldn’t this effectively force the first several episodes to BE the pilot(s)? And IF the average standard failure rate holds true (whatever that is) — meaning that about the usual percentage of shows don’t pan out — isn’t there a risk of running out of programming to fill up a week’s worth of prime time? Or does this mean that there’ll be a WHOLE LOT more game shows, reality shows, and news magazines in our future?

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