Fox's Reilly: Straight-to-Series Trend May Be Short-Lived
At Hollywood Radio & Television Society Luncheon in Los Angeles, Talk of WGA Strike Impact and the Way Forward
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/25/2008 11:24:00 PM
Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly predicted that the idea of television networks skipping over the pilot or presentation phase and green-lighting more projects straight to series will be a short-lived one if there are several early failures.
“It’s much easier said than done,” Reilly said. “As soon as three of these fail -- and they will -- there’s going to be a panic.”
That said, Reilly reaffirmed his belief that a full pilot for every project is not necessary to sell ad buyers on a schedule.
“Advertisers don’t necessarily need a finished pilot by the May presentations,” he said, adding that advertisers are buying schedules based on returning shows and adjacencies in the upfront as much as anything.
Reilly’s comments came at a Hollywood Radio & Television Society luncheon in Los Angeles Tuesday.
The discussion, entitled “Where Do We Go from Here?,” focused on the current development environment in the wake of the writers’ strike.
While none of the panelists seemed too keen on rehashing the strike’s collateral damage, Weitz did note that losses from the strike included all of the episodes of shows like NBC’s Chuck and ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money that may have aired this season but now will wait until next fall, when their networks plan to air them.
Reilly also said much of the money the networks are cutting back -- as fewer pilots and holding deals are made in the wake of the strike -- will probably just fall out of the marketplace and go down as cost savings.
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