'Pitch' Revival Came Close to Happening But Couldn't Find a Home at Disney

Pitch S01E01 Still - Publicity - H 2016
Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Pitch S01E01 Still - Publicity - H 2016

Pitch is being forced into retirement.

The former Fox baseball drama from Dan Fogelman will not be revived after the This Is Us creator had reassembled the core cast — including Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Kylie Bunbury — and were discussing writers as well as prepping ideas for season two for original producers 20th Century Fox TV.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Fogelman and executive producers Kevin Falls and Rick Singer as well as execs at fellow producer Major League Baseball — who were all instrumental in season one — were told by 20th TV execs to hit the ground running as they worked out which Disney platform would be home for Pitch season two. This transpired in late April, barely a month after Disney's Fox acquisition closed and shortly after Fogelman renewed his overall deal with 20th TV. Fox's TV studio was among the assets that became part of the Disney fold after the $71.3 billion asset acquisition closed in mid-March.

Sources note that a revival of Pitch — a passion project for New York Mets fan Fogelman — was among the chips 20th TV pulled out to ensure the producer behind one of the studio's biggest hits remained with it amid offers from multiple other suitors.

After meeting with execs at the studio, space for a writers room on the Paramount lot was reserved and producers started making calls to staff up for season two. No offers or deals were made/signed. Producers met with casting and business affairs execs in that same late April meeting and learned data about the show's streaming performance as the family-focused Disney+ was considered the likely and logical new home for Pitch season two.

Sources say Fogelman reiterated to execs that he didn't want to pitch season two of the drama about the first woman to play in Major League Baseball, but instead wanted a green light to revive the show. Producers, sources note, felt that season two wasn't a question of "if" but "for whom," though no official deals were completed.

That would change quickly within the week to 10 days that followed.

The Pitch team — who were in the midst of plotting out the events of season two — were then told to hold off on making formal offers to writers and chatter about season two quieted. Eventually, 20th informed producers that season two of Pitch wasn't happening as the studio was unable to find a proper home as the show allegedly skewed too old and too sophisticated for Disney+. Sources note that other Disney platforms were discussed, but ultimately the series could not find a new home.

Still, sources say that all involved remain hopeful that there will be some sort of proper closure for the baseball drama that was originally produced in partnership with MLB. The season one finale featured glass-ceiling-shattering pitcher Ginny Baker experiencing a season-ending injury.

Appearing Monday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour to support his new show, Black-ish prequel Mixed-ish, Gosselaar confirmed to reporters that Pitch was "pretty dead." "I hate to say [that]," he told Give Me My Remote. "I was even growing out my beard. It was right before The Passage's possible [season two] pickup, I was getting ready for Pitch. But at this moment, it's possibly on hold indefinitely." 

Representatives for 20th TV declined comment.