The L.A. Screenings 2018 might very well be the last of the types of Screenings that the international TV industry has grown accustomed to. But starting as early as next year the industry could see tremendous changes. The challenge, however, is not that there are too many of these changes, the problem is that the speed at which these changes are occurring is creating anxiety and insecurity.
It is clear that the L.A. Screenings, the U.S. studios’ favorite content sales extravaganza, will continue. The question is, in what new form?
If this wave of studio consolidations fully materializes by March 2019, the Screenings could disappear for Fox and CBS (or Paramount). This is because Disney is absorbing the studio portion (and some other assets) of Fox, and CBS and Viacom will most likely be re-merged.
All of these changes mean that the indie portion of the L.A. Screenings cannot start in the beginning of the week of the Upfronts, but two days later, assuming that Lionsgate (which usually takes the Friday before the major Screenings) doesn’t go through its own merger. (This also assumes that Sony won’t be joining the merger-mania that is now sweeping the U.S. TV sector.)
This means that it will be difficult for the indies to reserve a block of hotel rooms at the InterContinental in Century City since they won’t know well in advance which days to block.
Meanwhile, at these upcoming L.A. Screenings 2018, the indies will have more eyes on them than ever, since, according to some analysts, 16 percent of the new output will not be available to terrestrial television because it will be produced for the streaming services, and a good portion of what is left of new series will go on the studios’ OTTs after their network runs.
In terms of numbers, the U.S. Studios will be producing 90 pilots, of which 76 are for broadcast television and 14 are for streaming services. Last year, out of 75 pilots for the broadcast networks, 47 (or 63 percent) were picked up.
Full report, including complete pilot count, in VideoAge‘s Day 3 Daily at MIP-TV.