TV Upfronts: Studio Scorecard
UPDATED: Universal Television and WBTV lead the pack as the former posts the biggest gains. Sony Pictures Television, meanwhile, posts the largest loss year-over-year.
With 54 scripted comedies and dramas ordered to series, the broadcast networks continued to spend as they edged last year's new crop (up one year-over-year). The overall number includes an increasing number of off-cycle and straight-to-series orders -- as well as event/limited/miniseries -- as ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS and The CW continue to hedge their bets on shorter orders and program year-round.
Here's a look at how each of the studios fared.
Universal Television: 12 (vs. 8 in 2013; 8 in 2012) +4 year-over-year
After finishing in fifth place last season, NBC's sibling studio jumped to the head of the class (a tie with WBTV) this year, thanks largely to straight-to-series pickups and limited fare Heroes: Reborn, A.D., Emerald City and The Slap, all of which have yet to be cast. Uni TV -- which was second with 20 pilot orders -- was also the only studio to post any gains this season after finishing even a year ago. The studio also secured another key off-network sale to Fox with Mulaney, which already received an additional 10-episode order. The sale gives the studio three shows on Fox's primetime lineup, with Mulaney joining The Mindy Project and Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Following prolonged negotiations, Uni TV also secured a shortened final season for critical darling Parenthood. Of its eight sales last year, three will return, with NBC's Crossbones still in the mix.
A.D. (NBC) (co-production with LightWorkers Media, Hearst Productions)
Bad Judge (NBC)
Emerald City* (NBC)
Heroes: Reborn (NBC)
Mission Control (NBC)
Mr. Robinson** (NBC)
The Slap* (NBC)
State of Affairs (NBC)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt** (NBC)
* Limited series.
** Picked up straight-to-series.
Last year's class: 3-for-8 (.375)
Returning series: 9 (total of 21 on the schedule)
Warner Bros. Television: 12 (vs. 12 in 2013; 9 in 2012) even year-over-year
While the studio is down slightly year-over-year, there is cause to celebrate after nearly all of its drama pilots (save Supernatural: Bloodlines) were ordered to series. This year, the studio's DC Entertainment came up big and secured series orders for comics-themed dramas Constantine, The Flash, Gotham and iZombie. WBTV also secured an 11th-hour renewal for veteran The Mentalist and two key sales to ABC, making up for the demise of Suburgatory after three seasons. Of the studio's 12 sales last year, only four are returning. (The jury is still out on Undateable, which hasn't bowed yet.)
A to Z (NBC)
The Flash (CW)
Jane the Virgin (CW) (co-production with CBSTVS)
The Messenger (co-production with CBSTVS)
Mysteries of Laura (NBC)
One Big Happy (NBC)
Last year's class: 4-for-12 (.333)
Returning series: 16 (total of 28 on the schedule)
ABC Studios: 11 (vs. 9 in 2013, 6 in 2012) +2 year-over-year
After ABC's disastrous rookie class returned only two of its nine sales, ABC Studios goes from third place to second. Of its leading 22 pilots, 10 were picked up to series. The studio also scored a key outside sale to Fox with its Steven Spielberg-produced adaptation of Red Band Society, starring Octavia Spencer. The studio said farewell to its homegrown alien family comedy The Neighbors after two seasons this year, while securing a final season for Cougar Town at TBS.
Agent Carter* (ABC) (co-production with Marvel Television)
American Crime (ABC)
Astronaut Wives Club* (ABC)
How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
Manhattan Love Story (ABC) single-camera
Members Only (formerly The Club)* (ABC) (co-production with CBS Television Studios)
Red Band Society (Fox)
Secrets and Lies (ABC)
The Whispers (formerly The Visitors) (ABC)
* Picked up straight-to-series.
Last year's class: 2-for-9 (.222)
Returning series: 9 (total of 20 on the schedule)
CBS Television Studios: 10 (vs. 10 in 2013; 7 in 2012) even year-over-year
After early buzz had the network adding just one of its two drama spinoffs, the studio secured pickups for both CSI: Cyber and NCIS: New Orleans, expanding two of its biggest cash cows. Of its 17 pilots, 10 were picked up to series. Elsewhere, CBSTVS received straight-to-series pickups for Susannah Grant's The Club as well as Vince Gilligan and David Shore's redeveloped Battle Creek -- a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. Only four of its 10 sales last year made it to second seasons.
Battle Creek* (CBS) (co-production with Sony Pictures Television)
Members Only* (formerly The Club) (ABC) (co-production with ABC Studios)
CSI: Cyber (CBS)
Jane the Virgin (CW)
Madam Secretary (CBS)
The McCarthys (CBS) (co-production with Sony Pictures Television)
The Messengers (CW)
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS)
The Odd Couple (CBS)
* Picked up straight-to-series
Last year's class: 4-for-10 (.400)
Returning series: 11 (total of 21 on the schedule)
20th Century Fox Television: 8 (vs. 11 in 2013, 5 in 2012) -3 year-over-year
The studio secured an 11th-hour renewal for Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing and packaged it with rookie half-hours Cristela and Fresh Off the Boat, which helped to offset the loss of eight of last year's 11 sales. (Only Sleepy Hollow and 24 remain, with Gang Related still in the mix.) Of the studio's 16 pilots in contention this season, only eight were picked up to series -- likely the result of network counterpart Fox's new approach to pilot season and its shift toward a year-round development model. Working in its favor, five of its eight sales were picked up straight-to-series -- all at Fox. Notably missing from the list is CBS' high-profile How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your Dad, which at press time was still being shopped.
Bordertown (Fox animated)
Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)
Last Man on Earth* (Fox)
Weird Loners* (Fox)
* Picked up straight-to-series
Last year's class: 3-for-11 (.272)
Returning series: 9 (total of 17 on the schedule)
Sony Pictures Television: 3 (vs. 8 in 2013, 5 in 2012) -5 year-over-year
Of its eight pilot sales, three went to series -- two of them co-productions with one redeveloped from last year (comedy The McCarthys). The studio -- which didn't really develop dramas this season after its key producers were tied up with series commitments -- also posted the biggest losses year-over-year, but did see rookie comedy The Goldbergs become the only freshman comedy to earn a second season at ABC. And over at NBC, the studio fared particularly well, with Marry Me and bona fide hit The Blacklist garnering plum post Voice slots, with the latter grabbing the post-Super Bowl slot as well.
Marry Me (NBC)
Battle Creek* (CBS) (co-production with CBS Television Studios)
The McCarthys (CBS) (co-production with CBS Television Studios)
*Picked up straight-to-series
Last year's class: 2-for-8 (.250)
Returning series: 2 (total of 5 on the schedule)
Among the outside studio sales this year, NBC's single-cam Working the Engels is an acquisition from Halfire-CORE Entertainment and Shaw Media, while its Aquarius hails from ITV. Fox's Gracepoint is from Shine America and Wayward Pines is produced by FX Productions.
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