Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ken Levine on big stars and TV pilots

Levine has an excellent post about what really drives pilot season. If you have any interest you should take a look, but this bit, with its disparity between projects that are easy to get greenlit and projects that have the best rate of return is very relevant to some upcoming posts.
Pilots are incredibly hard to do well. You have to establish the premise, introduce the characters, tell a story, set the tone, and be funny – all in 22 minutes. Now imagine trying to accomplish all that when you only have :30 seconds. This is one of the big reasons why networks like to stack their new shows with established stars. You may not know what the show is about but Michael J. Fox is in it.

God forbid you don’t have an established name at the forefront of your series. Although the breakout hit shows generally feature new discoveries, networks prefer the safety of Will Arnett and Brad Garrett. So the star-driven shows will get more promos and hype. You may have a better show without stars but you’ll have a tougher go of things.

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