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Red Right Hand: DIE, PILOT, DIE
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



As Jill pointed out, there's a lot of eulogizing the pilot going on, following the announcement that NBC/Universal was going to be making them so much anymore. Surely there will be others studios taking the same view. Naturally, it takes months of WGA strike for them to get a point they really should have gotten to on their own, much like the ending of upfronts. Perhaps when the strike is resolved, we'll finally have continuous, year-round development.

I'll not eulogize the pilot. I'll congratulate the studios for finally waking up. It's been a long damn time since the pilot was a functional tool for getting to series and they were the ones that killed it in the first place with 7-10 million dollar budgets and unmaintanable production values.

"Antiquated business model," says Elizabeth Guider.
Hit that rusty nail on the head. It astounds me that the entertainment industry makes sooooooo much scratch, because they're just not good at it. Instead of being megamillionaires, they could (so easily) be gigamillionaires. I guess I admire their nongreediness.

The pilot is not dead though. They will still need to be written. I would argue that the written pilot will mean even more. That writing has got to kick some mighty ass to get a straight-to-series order. (At least, I hope it does, otherwise...gah).

The fact that they don't actually get shot shouldn't mean a damn thing, since we never got to see them anyway. In fact, one of my favorite pilots ev-ar, was Global Frequency, the pilot that escaped to the internet, found an enthusiastic audience and all Warner was interested in doing was getting pissy about it getting out. They'd rather have thrown away the millions of bones that do anything with it.

I'm still amazed that, a year after that, when they put Mercy Reef/Aquaman up on iTunes and it became the number one TV download that fucking day, that they haven't done this again. In my view, getting some money back on a blown investment is much better than leaving it in a vault and not making even a femtocent on the thing.

So I say "so long pilots, ye just weren't the same no more," and usher in the era where when we say "pilot" we just mean a script that makes or breaks right there. and then.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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