Historically, TV studios and production studios are busy producing pilots for new TV series from January till April. These sample episodes are streamed with major networks and sample audience with the aim to be picked up.
If the pilot is picked up, the TV studio or production company gets green light to produce a whole season. Sometimes the deal can include multiple seasons. This year’s pilot season seems to be different in Los Angeles. Despite the common 60 to 70 pilot productions it is rough 10 to 15 in Tinseltown.
Of course, COVID plays an important role, as the industry still have stern rules on testing cast and crew that requires a slightly higher budget. Another factor however is that Los Angeles started into the rainiest season since 1989 so many productions got pushed. An important role also plays new production studios that have the sufficient infrastructure like Utah and Atlanta. Locations like Vancouver and New York are as popular as always. Finally, international productions are conquering the US market and these are produced overseas.
The way we watch TV and movies today also influences the way of how production work. Due to the high number of streaming services, we are in high demand of content. Especially streamers are producing and purchasing content the whole year round.
For us actors it means to be more flexible and to think more out of the box. A good read on pilot season is City Headshots blog post “When is Pilot Season”.