Final figures confirm AFTRA rules in pilots
66 of 70 to be union-affiliated, up from handful last seasonThe digital revolution that swept TV production this pilot season also has swept AFTRA into place as the dominant actors union.
The looming possibility of a SAG strike and the lure of the less-expensive and more-flexible digital production has accelerated the transition from film to digital. The union affiliation for a pilot and the subsequent series is determined by the method of filming: film for SAG and digital for AFTRA. That is firmed up after directors are hired, and with all pilot helmers in place, the final union pilot tally is coming together.
Sixty-six of 70 pilots this season will be AFTRA-affiliated, up from a handful last pilot season. The tally doesn't include the "NCIS" and "Gossip Girl" spinoffs as they are filmed as episodes of the regular series under the same conditions as the existing shows.
Four out of six studios went 100% AFTRA/digital this pilot season: 20th Century Fox TV (nine pilots), ABC Studios (15), Sony TV (nine) and Universal Media Studios (nine). The haul includes 20th TV's "Masterwork" and "Maggie Hill," ABC Studios' "Flash Forward" and "Happy Town," Sony TV's "Community" and untitled Lauren Graham series and UMS' "Day One" and "Parenthood."
For CBS Paramount TV and Warner Bros. TV, the percentages are 92% and 79%, respectively.
Only one CBS Par pilot, the untitled U.S. Attorney project, is being done under SAG, with the other 12 (excluding the "NCIS" spinoff) AFTRA-affiliated, including "Washington Field" and "The Good Wife."
Meanwhile, 11 of WBTV's 14 pilots (excluding the "Gossip Girl" spinoff) are shot on digital under AFTRA, including "Human Target" and the two Jerry Bruckheimer pilots. The studio's SAG-affiliated pilots are "V," "Eastwick" and single-camera comedy "The Middle," which was a summer pickup.
Also shot under AFTRA is the lone independently produced pilot this season: Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick's CBS drama "A Marriage."
Additionally, NBC/UMS' upcoming single-camera series "Parks and Recreation" and Fox/20th's single-camera comedy pilot "Boldly Going Nowhere," which will be reshot later this year, also are produced under AFTRA.