We’ve broken down all of the network pilots for you, tracked casting, and we’ve followed their updates all season long, but what about the channels that don’t “live and die” by the fall schedule? Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix have forged their own paths to creating content in the digital subscription space and while the major networks show off their choices on Madison Ave. we wanted to look at what these three big online channels have in the works.
We’ve broken down all of the network pilots for you, tracked casting, and we’ve followed their updates all season long, but what about the channels that don’t “live and die” by the fall schedule? Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix have forged their own paths by creating content in the digital subscription space, and while the major networks show off their choices on Madison Ave., we wanted to look at what these three big online channels have in the works.
Unlike Hulu and Netflix, Amazon has attempted to create a transparent pilot development season that culminates in the pilots being placed online in the fall for free (You can see our review of last year’s pilots here). Out of the six pilots ordered, five of them were ordered to series, and they covered a wide range of genres and tones. Last year they worked with worked with big names like Shane Black and Tig Notaro for their choices, and this year they went even bigger with projects from Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, a new version of the Jack Ryan franchise, and a reboot of cult comedy The Tick. It’s reminiscent of HBO and Netflix’s plan of attack in that they find the big names behind the camera and give them fairly free rein to create shows or cult series that have a strong online base asking for a new version. We’ll have to wait and see how it works out for Amazon.
In the past, this format of letting creators “create” has worked well for Netflix, with series like House Of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and many more, but this past year their offerings have taken some hits. To be clear, by “hits” I mean “slightly less than perfect reviews”. You never hear a show is bad, but series like Love and Flaked struggled to win raves even though the former was produced by Judd Apatow. What Netflix has been smart about is opening up their programming for younger viewers, like acquiring Degrassi and ordering an adaptation of YA novel 13 Reasons Why. Their teaming up with Marvel has also created some of the best programming on television, with The Punisher series one of their most anticipated projects since its announcement.
Hulu likewise has been very successful with teen viewers. East Los High has tapped into its audience, utilizing transmedia marketing that few other series have outside of new media. What’s interesting is how few people in the industry are discussing it, and how Hulu’s new orders don’t appear to expand on their success in the teen genre. The closest they come is a coming-of-age thriller, When The Street Lights Go Out, that takes place in 1983.
Below you will find links to major cable networks with active pilots and their current status.