The Scoggins Report: 2013-2014 Primetime Network Pilot Season Scorecard

The Scoggins Report
by Cindy Kaplan & Jason Scoggins
May 22, 2013

 

2013-2014 Primetime Network
Pilot Season Scorecard

Welcome to the 2nd annual Pilot Season Scorecard edition of The Scoggins Report. The networks’ upfront presentations a week and a half ago were like Christmas morning for Cindy, who’d paid very close attention to development and pilot seasons again this year so we (which is to say, she) could deliver Scoggins Report-style year-over-year numbers for each of the five broadcast networks. Because there’s simply nothing we like better than year-over-year numbers.

We followed last year’s format again this year, starting with this season’s raw, overall numbers of script, pilot and series orders in each format (half hour and one hour) at each network.  The rest of the document is the deep dive into each network’s development and purchase patterns, separated into comedy and drama categories.

We know the bulk of our readers focus more on features than on TV, but since we absolutely love the TV business we get a kick out of putting this Scorecard together. We hope you find our annual TV one shot interesting and enlightening as well.

 Pilot Season Overview

Half Hour

ABC CBS Fox NBC The CW Total 2012
Scripts 70 38 57 56 0 221 304
Pilots 13 14 10 18 0 55 52
  % Picked up to Pilot 19% 37% 18% 32% 25% 17%
2013 Series Orders 5 5 6 6 0 22 16
  % Ordered to Series 38% 36% 60% 33% 40% 31%
  2012 New Series 4 2 4 6 0 16
  % Change 25% 150% 50% 0% 38%

There are lots of interesting contrasts going on in the above grid, but here are our favorite year-over-year takeaways:

•     Collectively, the networks bought 27% fewer comedy projects last Summer than the previous development season…

•     …but then picked up a handful more to pilot this Spring than in 2012…

•     …and ended up ordering 38% more half hours to series than in 2012.

 

One Hour

ABC CBS Fox NBC The CW Total 2012
Scripts 68 37 41 62 28 236 263
Pilots 13 11 9 17 8 58 44
  % Picked up to Pilot 19% 30% 22% 27% 29% 25% 17%
2013 Series Orders 7 3 4 10 5 29 19
  % Ordered to Series 54% 27% 44% 59% 63% 50% 43%
  2012 New Series 5 4 2 3 5 19
  % Change 40% -25% 100% 233% 0% 53%

As you can see, the dynamics for one hours were similar to half hours, though in slightly different ways:  Fewer scripts ordered (-10%), but way more pilots picked up (+32%), and even more one hours ordered to series (+52%) than the previous year.

 

Totals

ABC CBS Fox NBC The CW Total 2012
Total Scripts 138 75 97 118 28 456 567
Total Pilots 26 25 18 35 8 112 96
  % Picked up to Pilot 19% 33% 19% 30% 29% 25% 17%
2013 New ScriptedSeries Orders 12 8 10 16 5 51 35
  % Ordered to Series 46% 32% 56% 46% 63% 46% 36%
  2012 New Series 9 6 6 9 5 35
  % Change 33% 33% 67% 78% 0% 46%

When you combine the half hours and one hours, the extremes from 2012 to 2013 are even more apparent:  All in, the networks bought over one hundred fewer scripts this development season compared to 2012’s (-20%), but picked up 17% more pilots than than the previous year, and ended up ordering 46% more new scripted series than the year earlier.

 

ABC

Only one of ABC’s 7 new dramas from last season made the cut this year – Nashville – and considering the network axed the weakeningPrivate Practice as well as sophomore Body of Proof, it’s no wonder it ordered 7 new one hours this year, up from 5 in 2012. Joss Whedon’s much buzzed about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is joined by Lucky 7, planted spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Betrayal, Resurrection,Killer Women and Mind Games.

On the comedy side, while we’re devastated by the loss of Happy Endings, we’re open to the idea that one of ABC’s 5 new comedies might replace the void it will leave in our…hearts. (We were about to say “DVR,” but it bounced around so much this season, even we die-hard fans couldn’t keep track.) Eulogies for the ah-mah-zing show aside, ABC’s 2013-2014 lineup includes 11 comedies, with new titlesThe Goldbergs, Super Fun Night (rolled over from last year’s development season), Trophy Wife, Back in the Game and Mixology. ABC’s lineup is rounded out by non-scripted staples Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, Shark Tank, sophomore The Taste, and newcomerThe Quest.

2013 2012 2011
New Series 13 9 22

 

ABC:  Comedy

Shows SingleCamera MultiCamera
2011 Series Orders 9 6 3
2012 Series Orders 4 2 2
     Cancelled 4 3 1
     Returning 6 4 2
  2013 Script Orders 70
  2013 Pilot Orders 13
2013 New Series Orders 5 5 0

 

ABC:  Drama

Shows Episodic Serial
2011 Series Orders 13 2 11
2012 Series Orders 5 0 5
     Cancelled 6 1 5
     Returning 6 1 5
  2013 Script Orders 68
  2013 Pilot Orders 13
2013 New Series Orders 7 2 5

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CBS

Armed with the strongest schedule of all five networks, it’s no surprise that CBS renewed the majority of last season’s shows. That said, it’s worth noting that only one of its new series from the 2012-2013 season made the cut for renewal — Elementary — and one, Friend Me, never aired, possibly due to the tragic death of its creator, Alan Kirschenbaum. Veteran Rules of Engagement, which had been on the bubble throughout its 7 season run, was finally put to pasture, but at least it made it into syndication territory.

All of the Tiffany network’s other shows return, to be joined by new dramas Hostages, Intelligence and Reckless and new comedies We Are Men, Mom, The Millers, The Crazy Ones and Friends with Better Lives. As you’ll see below, CBS is leveraging its strengths in multi-camera comedy and one hour procedurals to test “alternative” (for CBS) formats this Fall:  Two single camera half hours are in the lineup — We Are Men and The Crazy Ones — as are two serialized dramas, Hostagesand Reckless.

2013 2012 2011
New Series 8 5 22

 

CBS:  Comedy

Shows SingleCamera MultiCamera
2011 Series Orders 8 0 8
2012 Series Orders 2 0 2
     Cancelled 3 0 3
     Returning 5 0 5
  2013 Script Orders 38
  2013 Pilot Orders 14
2013 New Series Orders 5 2 3

 

CBS:  Drama

Shows Episodic Serial
2011 Series Orders 14 12 2
2012 Series Orders 4 4 0
     Cancelled 3 3 0
     Returning 10 9 1
  2013 Script Orders 37
  2013 Pilot Orders 11
2013 New Series Orders 3 1 2

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Fox

Fox axed three of its five new 2012 series — The Mob Doctor, the adorable Ben and Kate and the promisingly smart Goodwin Games. (Are we biased? No…) Also leaving the schedule are veterans Fringeand The Cleveland Show as well as sophomore drama Touch. Still, there wasn’t that much room on the schedule, which made it fairly surprising when Fox’s ordered 250% more shows this year than last.

The lucky 10 new shows include 6 comedies — Dads, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Enlisted, Surviving Jack, Us & Them and the animated Murder Police — and 4 dramas — Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human, Rake andGang Related. The House That Non-Scripted Built (farewell, Mike Darnell) will also bolster its Gordon Ramsey franchise with Junior MasterChef.

2013 2012 2011
New Series 12 5 19

 

Fox:  Comedy

Shows SingleCamera MultiCamera Animated
2011 Series Orders 11 3 1 7
2012 Series Orders 4 3 0 1
     Cancelled 3 2 0 1
     Returning 7 3 0 4
  2013 Script Orders 57
  2013 Pilot Orders 10
2013 New Series Orders 6 5 0 1

 

Fox:  Drama

Shows Episodic Serial
2011 Series Orders 8 4 4
2012 Series Orders 2 1 1
     Cancelled 3 1 2
     Returning 3 1 2
  2013 Script Orders 41
  2013 Pilot Orders 9
2013 New Series Orders 4 2 2

 

NBC

Of NBC’s 12 new shows for 2012, only three are returning, and they’re all dramas: Hannibal, Chicago Fire and Revolution. In fact, only 2 of NBC’s 13 half hour shows from last season will return this fall: Community and Parks and Recreation. Last year’s comedy crop was blighted — Animal Practice got clipped almost immediately, Save Me is being burned off this summer, and Next Caller Please didn’t even make it to air — and we’ve been forced to say goodbye to the underrated (in every way) Go On, Guys with Kids and especially Whitney. (Yes, we’re nearly alone in this sentiment. No, we don’t care.)

More importantly, though, the Peacock’s two most culturally-relevant comedies of the past decade — 30 Rock and The Office  — each had their series finales this year. While neither show was ever a ratings juggernaut they were both among the smartest comedies on TV and thus will be difficult to replace. The six contenders are Welcome to the Family, The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves the World, The Family Guide, About a Boy and Undateable.

NBC’s new dramas are the highly anticipated The Blacklist, Chicago Fire’s delightful planted spinoff Chicago PD, Ironside, Dracula, Believe,Crisis, Crossbones and The Night Shift. The schedule is rounded out by summer series Crossing Lines and Camp plus three new and one revived non-scripted series:  American Dream Builders, Food Fighters,The Million Second Quiz and The Sing-Off.

2013 2012 2011
New Series 20 12 21

 

NBC:  Comedy

Shows SingleCamera MultiCamera
2011 Series Orders 10 8 2
2012 Series Orders 6 5 1
     Cancelled 11 9 2
     Returning 2 2 0
  2013 Script Orders 56
  2013 Pilot Orders 18
2013 New Series Orders 6 4 2

 

NBC:  Drama

Shows Episodic Serial
2011 Series Orders 11 5 6
2012 Series Orders 3 1 2
     Cancelled 3 1 2
     Returning 6 3 3
  2013 Script Orders 62
  2013 Pilot Orders 17
2013 New Series Orders 10 5 5

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The CW

The CW let go of two of its most recognizable shows this year — Gossip Girl and 90210 — but held on to 3 of its 5 freshman series from last season and placed one last order of Nikita. Predictably, then, the network ordered five new dramas for the 2013-2014 season. Unlike the previous development season, not a single dollar was wasted on comedies, though they may test those waters this season with unscripted comedy Whose Line Is It Anyway?

For now, the network is sticking to its knitting — which is to say, soapy and/or supernatural teen fare.  This year’s flavors include Vampire Diaries-spinoff The Originals, Reign, The Tomorrow People, The 100and Star-Crossed. Also airing this Fall will be the new unscripted showFamous in 12 and veteran America’s Next Top Model.

2013 2012 2011
New Series 6 5 10

The CW:  Drama

Shows Episodic Serial
2011 Series Orders 10 0 10
2012 Series Orders 5 0 5
     Cancelled 4 0 4
     Returning 7 0 7
  2013 Script Orders 28
  2013 Pilot Orders 8
2013 New Series Orders 5 0 5

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About The Scoggins Report:

The Scoggins Report is a terribly unscientific analysis of the feature film development business based on information assembled from a variety of public and non-public sources.  The numbers in the reports are by no means official statistics.  Caveat emptor.

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