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Arts & Entertainment

TV networks aim for quality over quantity this pilot season




ABC has renewed its entire lineup of shows created by Shonda Rhimes.
ABC has renewed its entire lineup of shows created by Shonda Rhimes.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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If you didn’t know, it's TV pilot season in Hollywood.

That’s where the broadcast networks make a slew of test episodes in the hopes of finding hit shows for the Fall schedule.  

Pressure from cable networks and streaming giants have pulled audiences away from broadcast TV and it seems the result is that the big five – ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and CW – are being more careful about what pilots they’re choosing to make.

Daniel Holloway, a senior TV reporter for Variety, recently wrote about this year's pilot season. He says:

It used to be that the networks had a monopoly on what a viewer watched but that’s no longer the case. Last year, according to research done by FX networks, there were something like 454 original scripted television shows across broadcast, cable and streaming.

Compared to last year, the networks have chosen fewer pilots and there aren’t the kind of reboots and spinoffs they’ve churned out before. Maybe they’ve gotten the memo that audiences want original programming. Still, they’re often tapping tried-and-true creators who’ve done it before — such as Greg Berlanti of "Supergirl" and Shonda Rhimes of, well, most of the big ABC dramas.



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