TV PILOT SEASON 2011: Managing Expectations

Pilot Season is —

  • Challenging
  • Exhilarating
  • Scary
  • Stimulating
  • Disappointing
  • Depressing
  • Promising

As an Actor I can (and do) go from extreme highs to a deep lows within just a matter of days (sometimes within hours). In the last few weeks I’ve gone from pre-reads to call-backs with producers to negotiations about quotes, to signing contracts, testing and then not getting the parts. It’s like those old-fashioned board games where you almost get to the end and then end up at the beginning… (apparently even young kids need to learn how to start over.)


The opportunities in Pilot Season have changed over the last couple of years.Reality TV isn’t as big as it once was, but unfortunately it seems here to stay and that definitely affects the number of scripted opportunities. And though TV is finally bouncing back from the Writer’s Strike, the state of the economy has affected Actors at all levels, so MANY feature Actors are going to TV, which takes opportunities away from TV Actors (obvi!)

Some of the Film Stars who have committed to TV Pilots this season include: Zoe Deschanel, Patrick Wilson, Minnie Driver, Kat Dennings, Maria Bello, Leelee Sobieski, Ethan Hawke, Rob Schneider and Amanda Peet. Apparently they have all lowered their expectations and now find more opportunities in TV than Features, so we all have to manage (or lower) our own expectations. Ugh Ugh UGH!

Still, with the gazillion cable stations producing great material, there are more jobs to fight for, so that’s a plus. And although most new shows are developed during Pilot Season, there are new ones being developed all year around. I just read about an awesome-sounding one for HBO with Ed Burns that’s gonna be shot in the Fall.

So every time I don’t get on a show, I read about a new one on Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood and still have hope. I don’t know how it’s all going to turn out for me, but I do know that I don’t have time for a pity-party, because I’ve got two auditions today and need to rally.

Wish me luck. Fingers Crossed.
(Why did I EVER think that becoming an Actor was a good idea?)

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2 responses to “TV PILOT SEASON 2011: Managing Expectations”

  • As a general viewer, I have to say I see more loyalty coming to cable. I only get around to big network shows when I feel like it and don’t mind missing episodes but if I get at all invested in a cable show (eg., Dexter, Mad Men, etc. etc.) then I tend to want to watch all available episodes. I get box set DVDs of cable shows. I stream mainstream broadcast on the web.

    That may just be me, but I’ve chosen sides already as a tv viewer. I have a feeling that I’m not alone, either.

    Get on a cable show! 🙂

    • Evie...:

      I could not agree with you more! Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Californication, The Tudors — the list goes on and on and on. I’d luvvvvvv to get on a cable show. Going to auditions and not getting call-backs on network pilots because they decided to “go ethnic” or want “bigger boobs” pushes me out on the ledge, ready to jump, obvi. Thanks for checking in Nico, you write the BEST comments!

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