In May 2019, clearly the pre-pandemic period, the U.S. TV broadcast networks ordered 35 pilots into series for the 2019-2020 season. Last year, in the midst of a COVID-19 crisis, the number of pilots that became series for the 2020-2021 broadcast TV season were reduced to a mere 17. We’re now in May 2021, and while we’re almost out of the pandemic, Hollywood is still hesitant, but nevertheless managed to bring back the number of pilots picked up for the 2021-2022 TV broadcast season to 26: nearly approaching the number recorded in pre-pandemic times.
What remained the same as last year, however, were Upfronts that were held virtually, with networks hailing the new pilots pick-ups on screen instead of in person. The studios are also organizing virtual presentations after the Upfronts to present those new series that they distribute to potential international TV buyers.
At the time of this posting, with eight new scripted series for broadcast, ViacomCBS Global Distribution has the most international offerings of all the U.S. studios, followed by NBC Universal Global Distribution (with six new scripted series), and WarnerMedia International TV Distribution (with three new scripted series).