'TV's Top 5': Pilot Season Trends and Inside 'Locke & Key's' Long Journey (and Its Future)

During this week's podcast, hosts Daniel Fienberg and Lesley Goldberg are joined by Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill and discuss pilot season and how networks and streamers are prepping for a possible Writers Guild strike.
Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix; Rich Fury/Getty Images
'Locke & Key' bosses Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill (inset) join 'TV's Top 5' for a Showrunner Spotlight interview about their Netflix drama.

Welcome to another episode of TV's Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast.

Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the week in TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners and executive guests and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

This week, we're coming to you from Pasadena, where the winter edition of the Television Critics Association's press tour is winding down after an insanely busy crush of breaking news from streamers, cable and broadcast networks alike.

This week's five topics are:

1. Pilot season trends
The broadcast networks have doled out 55 (and counting) orders for new comedies and dramas for the 2020-21 television season. This segment explores why overall orders are down (again), why straight-to-series pickups are up and which reboots are in the works, as well as the inner workings of how development season works.
The analysis begins at the 3:29 mark.

2. Pilot season from the network's point of view
Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn joins the show this week for an interview about what pilot season is like from an executive's point of view, how broadcasters are competing with each other, cable networks and streamers for top stars and how a possible Writers Guild strike could impact everyone.
The interview begins at the 12:28 mark.

3. How networks and streamers are preparing for a possible Writers Guild strike
During this segment, THR senior writer Bryn Sandberg joins the show to discuss how networks and streaming services are prepping for a possible work stoppage from writers and what's at stake when the guild's current contract with studios expires May 1. Could Netflix strike its own deal? Will actors and directors join writers on a possible picket line?
The discussion starts at the 28:40 mark.

4. Showrunner Spotlight: Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill
In this weekly segment, the bosses behind Netflix's Locke & Key discuss the horror drama's decade-long path to Netflix, how their version differs from Hulu's take and why this beloved comic book series has been so challenging to adapt. The duo also open up about their long-term vision for Locke & Key and more.
The interview begins at the 37:23 mark.

5. Critic's Corner
As always, every episode ends with Dan offering his thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, as we continue to expand this segment, he weighs in on Hulu's High Fidelity and Utopia Falls, Epix's Slow Burn, HBO's Last Week Tonight and NBC's Good Girls.
Tune in starting at the 1:10:59 mark.

Hear it all now on TV's Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email Goldberg and Fienberg with any topics or questions you'd like to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com



TV's Top 5 is part of THR's roster of podcasts, including Awards ChatterScott Feinberg's weekly in-depth (and award-winning) interview show focusing on the most interesting talents of the Oscar and Emmy seasons; genre reporter Josh Wigler's Series Regular; crafts expert Carolyn Giardina's weekly series, Behind the Screen, which explores the top artists and technologies creating film and TV magic; Seth Abramovitch's monthly series, It Happened in Hollywood, which revisits indelible moments from 90 years of THR's entertainment history; and Hollywood Remixed, hosted by Rebecca Ford and Rebecca Sun, which focuses on underrepresented or misrepresented stories and characters in Hollywood. Other podcasts are in the works.