The number of broadcast drama pilots dropped this year to what may be an all-time low of 35, down from 41 in 2018. Despite the overall double-digit volume decline, Vancouver made big year-to-year gains with 10 drama pilots, up from 6 last year. That is believed to be an all-time record for the coastal Canadian city and is the most of any city this pilot season. For comparison, in 2014, when there was a similar low number of broadcast drama pilots, 36, Vancouver housed 5 of them.
In total, almost a third of the broadcast drama pilots this year, 11, are headed to Canada (10 in Vancouver, 1 in Toronto), boosted at least in part by an advantageous exchange rate, which may raise again the issue of runaway production. Meanwhile, Los Angeles, which had been regaining ground after the all-time low tally of 5 broadcast drama pilots in 2014 with the help of a tax incentives program that includes pilots, dropped from 8 hourlong network pilots last year to five, tying the 2014 low.
VANCOUVER – 10 Drama Pilots (up from 6 in 2018)
TORONTO – 1 (down from 2 in 2018)
NEW YORK – 9 (down from 11 in 2018)
LOS ANGELES – 5 (down from 8 in 2018)
ATLANTA, GA – 4 (up from 2 in 2018)
SAVANNAH, GA – 1 (up from 0 in 2018)
NEW ORLEANS – 1 (down from 2 in 2018)
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – 1 (even with 2018)
On the bright side, Film L.A. recently reported that California looks poised to hit an all-time record in 2018 of one-hour TV series being produced within its borders, boosted by straight-to-series orders at the streaming networks.