2017 Pilot Pick-Up Tournament: Our Expectations vs. Reality

The Ratings Junkie Sunday, May 21, 2017

Every year, networks commit to ordering a bunch of pilots, and from there decide which ones will make it to series. Sites like Deadline even do "Pilot Buzz" articles to say which pilots appear to be frontrunners for a series order. Through our results from the Pilot Pick-Up Tournament, it was interesting to see how there were pilots many thought would be ordered but weren't, as well as some that were under our radar. Let's take a look:

ABC Comedy
Nearly everyone saw multi-cam Household Name, starring Carol Burnett, as an automatic pick-up, as well as Libby & Malcom from the creator of Blackish. Neither were picked up (though Household Name has been put in redevelopment). Behind that? British adaptation Raised by Wolves and Goldbergs spin-off Schooled, both of which also were not ordered to series. While these all seemed like locks due to their creators and/or stars, ABC went a different route. Start Up was picked up and renamed Alex Inc, though under half of us guessed that. Even less people guessed the pick-ups of Splitting Up Together and The Mayor. We did get some things right; that Untitled Simmons project was nowhere to be found both on ABC's schedule or in any of our predictions.

ABC Drama
Our most popular pick for a drama pick-up was Red Blooded (then known as Bluegrass/Blood Red), which hailed from Marc Cherry and Reba McEntire. While bound to skew older, many speculated it would air Mondays at 10pm behind Dancing with the Stars. Instead, it wasn't even ordered to series, and The Good Doctor got that time slot. Luckily, most of us at least expected that one to be ordered. Deception was another popular pick, and is slated for midseason, while Las Reinas and The Trustee were no-shows both in all of our predictions and on ABC's schedule.

CBS Comedy
Everybody saw 9J 9K 9L (now (9JKL) getting picked up. With Man with a Plan on the bench with a full season, it basically has a 50-50 chance of getting pulled. The other major candidate is Me, Myself & I, which came in 2nd place in our picks. By The Book (then called Living Biblically) tied in third place with Bothered Up and Real Life in our picks, with only the first one getting ordered to series. In general we did a solid job guessing what would be picked up on the CBS comedy front.

CBS Drama
S.W.A.T. was CBS Drama's equivalent of 9JKL in that all of us correctly predicted it would be ordered. We also all correctly wrote off El Jefe and Higher Ground. What came out of nowhere was Wisdom of the Crowd; only three participants picked that show to be ordered to series, and now it's airing Sunday at 8 under the football halo. Killer Instinct (now Instinct) and Mission Control were also frontrunners in our minds, though only Instinct received a series order. Overall, another decent outing, though once again Wisdom of the Crowd really flew under our radar.

The CW
The CW has many superhero-related shows, so many that it has in a sense come to define the network. Because of this, most of us correctly thought Black Lightning would be ordered to series, which actually began at FOX. Other pick-ups Life Sentence and the reboot of Dynasty were not far behind in our predictions. The main shocker was the order of Valor, which also gained a fall time slot behind Supergirl on Mondays. Virtually none of us predicted this.

FOX Comedy
All but one entry predicted that both LA-->Vegas and Ghosted would be ordered to series. Turns out, those were the two that were actually ordered to series. While many also predicted a pick-up for Thin Ice, in general our predictions heavily aligned with the actual results.

FOX Drama
Our predictions on FOX drama were overall decent. Pretty much everyone anticipated Marvel's new show, The Gifted, to be ordered to series. However, we also believed the same for Behind Enemy Lines, which in the end did not receive the go-ahead. Many also predicted correctly that The Resident will be ordered to series. Time will tell if The Passage or The Beast will be ordered to series (neither have filmed yet), but quite a few predicted The Passage will see the light of day eventually.

NBC Comedy
NBC loves Tina Fey, and with Great News getting canceled due to low ratings The Sackett Sisters is getting picked up, said everyone participating. Turns out, NBC went with Great News and The Sackett Sisters probably won't be ordered--either they have a lot of faith in growing Great News, or The Sackett Sisters was actually that bad. The majority also saw Relatively Happy and Champions getting picked up, and while the former wasn't ordered, the latter was. Many also incorrectly thought Spaced Out would be ordered to series.

NBC Drama
Our #1 pick was Drama High, which is now titled Rise, and we guessed that correctly. The three behind that were For God & Country (now called The Brave), Reverie, and Good Girls, respectively. In total, those were the four dramas that NBC ordered. In general, we saw NBC's drama pick-ups as fairly predictable.

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