NEW ORLEANS — NBC has finalized its fall drama pilot pickups, ordering a total of 10 presentations — and NBC Studios has some sort of financial stake in at least eight of them.
The latest additions to the Peacock’s pilot roster are the Greenblatt-Janollari comedy-drama “News From the Edge” and the Carsey-Werner sitcom “Dog Years.”
The hourlong “News From the Edge,” from “Urban Legend” writer Silvio Horta, was the last drama pilot the Peacock greenlit. The project revolves around a twentysomething reporter who writes for a Weekly World News-style tabloid.
“Dog Years,” from a pair of “3rd Rock From the Sun” scribes, follows the exploits of dogs who can talk with one another — but not to humans. The live-action sitcom will utilize “Stuart Little”-style technology to show the dogs speaking.
NBC’s drama pilot tally is up considerably from last season, when the Peacock ordered only seven. The Peacock is the first web to complete its drama orders.
“We’re considerably ahead of the curve,” declared NBC Entertainment prexy Garth Ancier.
Ancier said NBC’s decision to produce shorter-length pilot presentations, rather than full hourlong pilots, enabled the net to pick up more projects.
Studio execs, however, have been vocally upset with NBC’s decision to go strictly with presentations.
NBC has set Feb. 15 as the internal deadline to complete its comedy pilot orders. Ancier expects to pick up 10 projects, with NBC Studios involved in at least three of them.
As for the Peacock owning a financial stake in most of its drama pilots, the studios seem resigned to the practice, which has been a contentious issue in years past.
NBC Studios prexy Ted Harbert said the studios are more interested in partnering with the network, “whether it’s for financial assistance, or in their mind it helps getting the series scheduled.”
“We’ve brought elements to every pilot,” Ancier said.
The only drama NBC definitely won’t have a stake in is Studios USA’s Dick Wolf project starring Oliver Platt. Ancier and Harbert said they’d know shortly whether the network would land a piece of another drama pilot, which would give NBC a financial interest in nine of its drama presentations.
Also, separately, NBC has picked up 13 more episodes of the gamer “Twenty-One.” In an episode taped this weekend and set to air Jan. 31, a contestant won more than $1 million, making it the largest cash prize awarded to an individual on national television.
And Ancier said NBC and Touchstone will reshoot the sitcom pilot “Daddio” in order to add a fourth kid to the show. Ancier said he thought the show needed a wider age balance of kids on the series, which has been given a six-episode order for midseason.