Fox confirmed that it has extended its options on the six of pilots it ordered but hasn’t been able to produce because of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fox is co-producing each of the six shows with a studio. This is the first pilot season for Fox Entertainment following the sale of Fox’s studio businesses to The Walt Disney Co. last year.
The extensions were needed because Fox’s deals to produce pilots and retain actors expired June 30.
“Fox established its brand – of programming and business – around the notion of boldness, nimble action and the ability to zig when others zag,” said Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment. “I always admired Fox’s willingness to invest at times others did not see opportunity. We are not dropping pilots at this time because we entered this process deliberately, believed in these artists and partners before the COVID-19 crisis and we continue to believe in them today.”
The extended series are live-action comedies Pivoting (co-produced with Warner Bros Television) and This Country (Lionsgate, BBC Studios, Feigco Entertainment); dramas The Big Leap (20th Century Fox Television), Blood Relative (Paramount Television Studios, Anonymous Content), The Cleaning Lady (Warner Bros. Television) and the Untitled Film Re-Enactment Project (Warner Bros. Television).
All of those shows are written by women.
Fox, which won the ratings race last fall, is planning to order other pilots outside of the traditional pilot season.
“Entering Fox Entertainment’s first development season as a new company, our methodology was to carefully curate our content more like a start-up; looking for new opportunities, new stories and new voices in ways perhaps others might not be able,” said Michael Thorn, president of entertainment at Fox Entertainment.
"As such, narrowing down these projects to only those that met our standards from the beginning, we still believe this crop of pilots – all from some of the finest writers, producers and talent in the business -- really represents what Fox is trying to accomplish both in ‘pilot season’ but, more importantly, for our year-round ambitions," Thorn said.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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