The Runway – Your 2016 Pilot Survival Guide: NBC Dramas

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FINAL VERDICT

For a network as desperately in need of good content as NBC, NBC doesn’t really have much meat to work with.

Considering the fates of Heartbeat and Game of Silence are still up in the air, it’s difficult to predict how many shows NBC is likely to order this May. But it’s safe to say they’re going to be risk-averse. They’re looking for comfort. Safety. Audiences.

Reportedly NBC’s keen on a primetime soap, which possibly means Cruel Intentions and Miranda’s Rights are facing off against each other. Even though I like the latter more, Cruel Intentions has that golden built-in audience and gives NBC a better chance at generating buzz. It’s also better competition for shows like Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder.

 

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Taken’s straight-to-series. My bets are on Chicago Justice, Time, The Blacklist Spin-off, and Cruel Intentions to join NBC’s slate. In that order. If I had my way, I’d throw in Midnight, Texas to replace Cruel Intentions. I wouldn’t be surprised if Heartbeat and Game of Silence actually get renewals due to the lack of promising replacements.

At a craft level, there’s definitely one big lesson learned from NBC’s lineup. Before you take your hero on his journey, make sure you allow us some time to get to know him. And if his journey involves a departure into a new world, make sure that departure is logical, organic. Cruel Intentions being a good example of what not to do, Time being a good example, period.

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Ashish is a freelance script reader, currently reading for a company and a film financing platform, among other individual clients in the US and UK. You can find out more about his services at http://scriptexaminer.com, or write to him at scriptexaminer@outlook.com.

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