TCA: Pedowitz—Pilot Season Is ‘Very Efficient’

Complete Coverage: Winter Press Tour 2014

Pilot season continued to be a hot point of discussion at the TCA winter press tour Wednesday, as CW president Mark Pedowitz offered his take on whether the production cycle needs to be broken.

“Pilot season is tried and true,” Pedowitz said at his executive session, pointing out that CW shoots far fewer pilots than other networks. Last year, he said, the network shot seven pilots, five of which made it to series. “For us it is a very efficient system. You learn things.”

The CW chief’s comments came in response to a question about remarks made earlier in the press tour by Fox’s Kevin Reilly and CBS’ Nina Tassler. Speaking Monday, Reilly called pilot season “highly inefficient” and announced that his network planned to scrap the process. Speaking Wednesday morning, Tassler expressed support for the pilot-season process, crediting it for the success of series such as The Big Bang TheoryHow I Met Your Mother, and CSI. Pedowitz said of Reilly and Fox "I wish them well."

He also addressed the CW’s preponderance of genre series, saying that “high concept-slash-fantasy” series work best for the network. “In that vein, we look for those kind of shows.”

The CW announced the acquisition of limited series Labyrinth, with a premiere date to be announced later, and new reality series Barber Battle and Penn & Teller: Fool Us, both to premiere this summer.

Pedowitz had few details to offer on the Veronica Mars webseries for CW Seed, also announced Wednesday. “It came about by circumstance,” he said, adding thatVeronica Mars creator Rob Thomas approached the network about a possible partnership, and that the deal was just completed. He added that no casting or story decisions have yet been made.