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Upfronts 2019: How Major TV Studios Made Out This Year

The major TV studios have all but closed out their business with the broadcast networks for the 2019-2020 season.

In all, 35 new scripted series have been ordered across the Big 4 and The CW, with one or two projects still outstanding as potential contenders for midseason pickups. The union of Disney’s ABC Studios and the 20th Century Fox TV operation in March made Disney Television Studios the largest supplier of new broadcast TV series with a total of 14 new series orders, although the studios operated separately until the merger was formally completed on March 20.

With the buying mostly done, here is a breakdown of where Hollywood’s dominant TV suppliers stand at the Big Four and CW at the close of the 2019 development season. Should any late pick ups be made, this post will be updated.

Studios New Series Ordered
CBS TV Studios 9 (3 co-pros)
20th Century Fox TV 8 (5 co-pros)
Universal TV 8 (4 co-pros)
ABC Studios 6 (3 co-pros)
Warner Bros TV 5 (4 co-pros)
Sony TV 4 (3 co-pros)
Keshet 2 (2 co-pros)
eOne 1 (co-pro)
Lionsgate 1

CBS Television Studios

As usual, most of CBS TV Studios pick ups went to CBS. Among the buzzier pilots the studio sold this are “Evil” from Robert and Michelle King and the multi-cam comedy “Carol’s Second Act” starring and executive produced by Patricia Heaton. CBS TV Studios also has “Nancy Drew” at CW while “Glamorous” is said to still be in contention at that network. The studio’s co-productions are for “Katy Keene” at CW (with WBTV), as well as CBS shows “All Rise” (with Warner Bros. TV) and the spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted” (with Universal TV).

CBS TV Studios is also producing “BH90210” at Fox, which is set to air this summer.

20th Century Fox Television

20th TV sold one series to NBC, the Bradley Whitford-Anna Camp single-cam “Perfect Harmony.” Beyond that, the studio had four straight-to-series orders at Fox: animated comedies “Bless the Harts,” “Duncanville,” and “The Great North” and the “9-1-1” offshoot “9-1-1: Lone Star” with Rob Lowe. The three animated projects are all co-productions with Fox Entertainment and “Duncanville” is also a co-production with Universal TV, while “Lone Star” is solely a 20th TV property. Other 20th TV pilots that got picked up this year are the multicam “Outmatched” and dramas “neXt” and “Filthy Rich.” “Outmatched” and “neXt” are Fox Entertainment co-productions.

Universal Television

Universal TV has the ABC Studios/Keshet co-production “The Baker and the Beauty” at ABC this year, as well as “FBI: Most Wanted” (with CBS TV Studios) at CBS and “Duncanville” (with 20th TV/Fox Entertainment) at Fox. The studio fielded comedies “The Kenan Show” and “Sunnyside” at NBC, along with dramas “Bluff City Law,” “Council of Dads,” and “Lincoln,” a co-production with Sony Pictures TV and Keshet.

ABC Studios

Sources say ABC Entertainment, which had the bulk of ABC Studios’ pilot orders, were dissatisfied with many of their pilots this year, leading to fewer pick ups for the studio. ABC Studios is the sole studio on the comedy “Mixed-ish,” the untitled drama based on the “Stumptown” graphic novels with Cobie Smulders, and “Emergence” at ABC, the last of which was originally in development at NBC. The studio also has the co-productions “The Baker and the Beauty” (with UTV/Keshet), “For Life” (with Sony TV), and “United We Fall” (with Sony TV) at ABC.

Warner Bros. Television

WBTV scored an early win at CBS with the multi-cam “Bob Hearts Abishola,” co-written and executive produced by Chuck Lorre. WBTV is also co-producing “All Rise” (with CBS TV Studios) at CBS. Beyond that, WBTV has co-production “Prodigal Son” (with Fox Entertainment) at Fox and both “Katy Keene” and “Batwoman” at CW, both of which were considered locks early on in the pilot process.

Sony Pictures Television

Sony TV was not expecting many pick ups this year and had focused their efforts mostly on developing for cable and streaming. Still, Sony did score four series orders this year. The studio’s one non-co-production this year is the multi-cam comedy “Indebted” at NBC. Co-productions are “For Life” (with ABC Studios) and “United We Fall” (with ABC Studios) at ABC and “Lincoln” (with UTV/Keshet) at NBC.

Keshet

Keshet’s two co-productions are “The Baker and the Beauty” (with ABC Studios/UTV) at ABC and “Lincoln” (with Sony TV/UTV) at NBC.

eOne

eOne has the drama series “Deputy” starring Stephen Dorff at Fox, which is a co-production with Fox Entertainment in keeping with the standalone network’s new approach to dealmaking now that they are no longer aligned with 20th TV.

Lionsgate

Lionsgate scored a pickup at NBC for the music-infused drama “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” in partnership with Universal Music Group (which is not affiliated with Universal Television).

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