Fox is the latest network to unveil its pilot production plans amid the current coronavirus uncertainty.
The network has announced it will extend all six of the pilots it had left over from the traditional pilot season, namely two single-camera comedies (“Pivoting” from Liz Astrof and “This Country” from Jenny Bicks and Paul Feig) and four dramas (“The Big Leap,” “Blood Relative,” “The Cleaning Lady” and “Untitled Film Re-Enactment Project”).
Fox had previously handed out series orders to comedy “Call Me Kat” from “Big Bang Theory” duo Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik, and a pair of animated shows in “The Great North” and “Housebroken,” all of which are slated to bow midseason. The network drafted in “Bad Boys” spinoff “LA’s Finest” and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” to help fill out its fall schedule.
In addition, sources close to the network confirm that a couple of older projects are still in contention for an off-cycle order to fill the network’s scheduling needs.
Another project gaining traction is the “Untitled Country Music Dynasty Drama” from writer and exec producer Melissa London Hilfers, which was first put in development in Sept. 2019.
Both NBC and ABC, who announced their pilot plans last week, are moving forward with their buzziest pilots later this year, and shifting the rest of them to next development cycle. It’s worth noting that they both ordered several more pilots than Fox this season.
A source close to Fox says that while the pandemic is clearly a big concern, the network is confident it is “still delivering, moving forward and building.”
“Fox established its brand – of programming and business – around the notion of boldness, nimble action and the ability to zig when others zag. I always admired Fox’s willingness to invest at times others did not see opportunity. We are not dropping pilots at this time because we entered this process deliberately, believed in these artists and partners before the COVID-19 crisis and we continue to believe in them today,” said Fox CEO Charlie Collier.
“Entering FOX Entertainment’s first development season as a new company, our methodology was to carefully curate our content more like a start-up; looking for new opportunities, new stories and new voices in ways perhaps others might not be able. As such, narrowing down these projects to only those that met our standards from the beginning, we still believe this crop of pilots – all from some of the finest writers, producers and talent in the business — really represents what FOX is trying to accomplish both in ‘pilot season’ but, more importantly, for our year-round ambitions,” added Fox president of entertainment Michael Thorn.