Procedurals are largely out of favor at the broadcast networks this development season with one exception, medical dramas. The two major networks that don’t have medical franchises, NBC and CBS, were aggressive in the genre last season, each launching 2 new medical series, Trauma and Mercy (NBC) and Three Rivers and Miami Medical (CBS). With none of them making it to Season 2, the two nets are back at it, actively pursuing medical dramas. I don’t think it was a coincidence that both networks went after a medical drama pitch recently taken out by Privileged creator Rina Mimoun, which ultimately landed at CBS with a put pilot commitment.
Overall, CBS, the traditional home for procedurals during the past decade, is said to be the most open to such pitches, which, in most castes, have to have strong character(s) at the center. Meanwhile, I hear the other networks are staying away from cop shows with the explanation that there are too many of them already on.
Big event-type serialized series are a hot commodity with almost all networks said to be looking for the next 24 or Lost (in case NBC’s upcoming The Event ain’t it.)
Primetime soaps and Southern shows are also hot this year as are dramas with strong female leads. I hear NBC is interested in soaps (remember Titans?!) while Fox and CBS are very high on female-lead shows.
NBC, which has only single-camera comedies on the air, is actively pursuing multi-camera sitcoms as it’s going for a balanced single/multi comedy development slate. (The network, which has strong traditions in the muliti-camera format, most recently tried it with this summer’s burnout 100 Questions.) Meanwhile, Fox is sticking almost exclusively with single-camera shows and CBS with multi-camera ones. It’s hard to gauge what type of shows ABC will be ultimately after this development season as new head Paul Lee is still reviewing the network’s business and creative matters.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.