9:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
TV Upfronts: A Supersized Disney TV Studios Makes a Strong Debut
It's a whole new world on the studio side as the newly launched Disney Television Studios — which comprises newly acquired 20th Century Fox TV and ABC Studios — vaulted right to the top of our annual studio scorecard. DTS topped Universal Television, which would have bested last year's leader to finish in first were it not for Disney's $71.3 billion Fox acquisition.
Elsewhere, nearly everyone — save for indie Sony TV — finished down year-over-year. It's also worth noting that while the newly independent Fox Entertainment does not yet have a scripted studio (yet), the broadcaster has already boarded nine of its 10 new series as co-production as it lays the groundwork for the future.
Here's a look at how all the studios fared this season, with a handful of pilots remaining in contention. (New show tallies do not include shows picked up for summer, though those do count toward total scripted on broadcast.)
Disney Television Studios: 14
Welcome to the new supersized Disney. This season, the Mouse House is officially tallying all of its sales under the newly launched Disney Television Studios, which encompasses ABC Studios and recently acquired 20th Century Fox Television and its subsidiaries. Naturally, the studio giant — overseen by former longtime Warner Bros. TV exec Craig Hunegs — leads the pack this season with 14 total sales when you combine 20th TV (eight) and ABC Studios (six). Were it not for the Fox acquisition, 20th and ABC Studios would have finished third and fourth, respectively, on this list this season.
Just to close the book on each individual studio, the Jonnie Davis- and Howard Kurtzman-led 20th was up from six sales last year and landed a straight-to-series order at Fox Entertainment for 911 spinoff Lone Star. The remainder of the studio's sales are all co-productions, seven of them with Fox Entertainment and one (animated Perfect Harmony) at NBC. ABC Studios, meanwhile, dropped from nine last year to six this season, two of them co-productions with Sony (For Life, United We Fall) and a third with Universal (The Baker and the Beauty). And all of them were to ABC.
New shows: 911: Lone Star, Bless the Harts, Duncanville, Filthy Rich, The Great North, Next, Outmatched, Perfect Harmony (via 20th), The Baker and the Beauty, Emergence (picked up to pilot at NBC), For Life, Mixed-ish, United We Fall, Stumptown (via ABC Studios)
Returning shows: 911, Bob's Burgers, Empire, Family Guy, The Orville, The Resident, The Simpsons, Last Man Standing plus summer show What Just Happened (via 20th), Agents of SHIELD, American Housewife, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, The Good Doctor (co-production with Sony), Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Station 19, Bless This Mess (co-prod with 20th), The Rookie, Schooled (co-prod with Sony), A Million Little Things, Single Parents (co-prod with 20th) and summer series Reef Break (via ABC Studios)
Total scripted on broadcast: 25 (via 20th) and 20 (via ABC Studios) for a total of 45
TBD: ABC Studios' Grand Hotel (debuts in June)
Universal Television: 10 (vs. 11 last year, when it finished second)
In her third year, Pearlena Igbokwe landed at least one series pickup at each of the Big Four networks, including an animated comedy at the new Fox Entertainment and a spinoff of Dick Wolf's CBS procedural FBI.
New shows: Bluff City Law, Council of Dads, Duncanville (co-production with 20th), FBI: Most Wanted (co-prod with CBS Studios), Law & Order: Hate Crimes, Lincoln (co-prod with Sony), Sunnyside, The Baker and the Beauty (co-prod with ABC Studios), The Kenan Show, Not Just Me
Returning shows: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, FBI (co-production with CBS Studios), Good Girls, Law & Order: SVU, Magnum P.I., New Amsterdam, Superstore, The Good Place, Will & Grace
Total scripted on broadcast: 22
TBD: Abby's, A.P. Bio, The Enemy Within, The InBetween, The Village
CBS Television Studios: Nine series ordered (vs. 12 last year when it finished first)
David Stapf's studio saw volume drop this year as its network counterpart opted for stability and renewed many of its bubble shows, creating fewer needs on its schedule. The studio had 17 pilots in the works (including co-productions) and wound up seeing eight of them ordered to series as the studio also boarded both The CW's Riverdale and its spinoff as a co-producer.
New shows: Carol's Second Act, The Unicorn, Broke, Evil, FBI: Most Wanted (co-production with Universal TV), Tommy, All Rise (co-prod with Warner Bros. TV), Nancy Drew, Katy Keene (co-prod with Warners)
Returning shows: Blue Bloods, Bull, Charmed, Criminal Minds (co-production with ABC Studios), Dynasty, FBI (co-prod with UTV), Hawaii Five-0, In the Dark, MacGyver, Madam Secretary, Magnum P.I., Man With a Plan, NCIS, NCIS: L.A., NCIS: New Orleans, SEAL Team, SWAT (co-prod with Sony TV), The 100 (co-prod with Warners), All American (co-prod with Warners), God Friended Me (co-prod with Warners), Legacies (co-prod with Warners), Riverdale (co-prod with Warners), Roswell (co-prod with Warners) plus summer series BH90210
Total scripted on broadcast: 33 (30 last year)
TBD: Instinct, The Code
Fox Entertainment: Nine
Technically not a studio, Charlie Collier's newly independent broadcaster has boarded nine of its 10 new series as co-producers, positioning the network to launch its own studio after 20th TV became a Disney property.
New show/only shows on broadcast: Bless the Harts, Duncanville, Next, The Great North, Outmatched, Filthy Rich — all co-productions with 20th; Deputy (co-prod with Endemol and UTV), Prodigal Son (co-prod with Warners), Duncanville (co-prod with UTV)
Warner Bros. Television: Five (vs. nine last year, when it finished third)
Peter Roth's indie studio said farewell to broadcast's top comedy when Chuck Lorre's The Big Bang Theory wrapped its 12-season run as TV's longest-running multicamera series. The studio is banking again on Lorre with the new CBS multicam Bob Hearts Abishola, which reunites the prolific producer and network with former Mike and Molly star Billy Gardell. Meanwhile, Warners-based super-producer Greg Berlanti saw his TV record 15 total scripted originals grow to a mind-boggling 18 after all three of his broadcast pilots nabbed series orders.
New shows: Bob Hearts Abishola, All Rise (co-prod with CBS Studios), Prodigal Son, Batwoman, Katy Keene (co-prod with CBS Studios)
Returning shows: God Friended Me, Mom, Young Sheldon, Blindspot, Manifest, The 100, All American, Arrow, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Legacies, Riverdale, Roswell, Supergirl, Supernatural, In the Dark (co-production with CBS Studios)
Total scripted on broadcast: 22 (28 last year)
TBD: The Red Line
Sony Pictures Television: Four (vs. 1 last year, when it finished fifth)
In their second upfront since taking over the indie studio, Sony TV toppers Jeff Frost, Jason Clodfelter and Chris Parnell saw their fortunes improve year-over-year. All of the studio's broadcast series scored renewals and four of its six pilots were picked up to series. Still, three of those four are co-productions as the studio continues to have to give up a slice of the pie as broadcasters continue to place a premium on ownership.
New shows: For Life (co-production with ABC Studios), United We Fall (co-prod with ABC Studios), Indebted, Lincoln (co-prod with UTV)
Returning shows: The Blacklist, The Goldbergs, Schooled (co-production with ABC Studios), The Good Doctor (co-prod with ABC Studios), SWAT
Total scripted on broadcast: Nine