Broadcast networks often say at the beginning of a development season that they intend to buy less so they can focus only on projects they really believe in only to be caught up in the buying frenzy and end up again with a large volume. This year, they seem to have kept their word. There was a noticeable retreat among the nets, with fewer big bidding wars and mind-boggling commitments.
Every hit show starts with an exec saying yes to a pitch, and during the past few months, networks and studios have bought hundreds of promising projects, from original ideas like “mechanical-human dramas” to remakes of classics like The Munsters and The Rifleman. THR parses the loglines and pilot commitments to analyze what the networks are buying.
Genre series are all the rage in cable with the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s True Blood, which have been breaking series records to rank as their network’s top-rated series and become pop culture staples. But, with the exception of ABC’s Lost, sci-fi, vampire, zombie and comic book-based series have struggled to attract sizable audiences on the major broadcast networks. That has not deterred the nets to heavily pursue such projects this development season.