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TV Pilot Launch Questions


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#1 Eric Black

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:59 PM

Seeking some resources on effective ways to get a TV production off the ground. I have been playing with the idea of making a pilot, and have found a private investor who would provide a decent budget. I am just wondering aside from the actual production, how the process works. Make a pilot ... get 'picked up' ... be funded by network to make more ... ?

I talked to a friend who had worked on a show similar to A&E Biography, they would make an entire season, and then sell them quite easily as the thing was already made, and all the network had to do was cut them a check to buy them all.

The show we are seeking to make would not be affordable to shoot an entire season using our own money right now.

Pointers are appreciated!
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#2 Jim Keller

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:13 PM

With the caveat that I've never done television...

A self-produced pilot alone isn't likely to sell. The networks order their pilots, and to get them to do that you'll need an agent repping you as a producer to get you in to pitch your series idea to them, and that's unlikely to happen until you've come up the ranks on other series. The odds of getting a network to even look at it are extremely low.

However, a complete season is eminently sellable, either directly to a network exclusively or non-exclusively as a syndicated series. The customer can then view the entire package and decide if it's something they can sell enough advertising on to cover the purchase price. Since it's done (at least for season one), there's effectively no risk to them.

With a pilot alone, there's just too many things that can go wrong for them to take the chance. You're an unknown quantity to them, and they don't know if you'll be able to deliver a full season on time and of the same (or better) quality as the pilot.

My advice is if you can get the money for the first episode, try to get the money for 24.
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The Slider

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC