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Updated June 1: Following news of Universal Television president Bela Bajaria’s exit, here’s a closer look at how NBC’s studio counterpart fared. UTV fell from second place last season to fifth this year after NBC picked up a number of new shows from outside studios in a move that separated itself from other broadcasters who put a greater emphasis on vertical integration.
Following a broadcast season that produced few bona fide hit breakout series, the networks continued to vertically align themselves with their studio counterparts as ownership becomes more of the mandate at the Big Four.
With overall orders down slightly (42 vs. 45 in 2015), 20th Century Fox Television proved to be the big winner — largely thanks to its vertically aligned network. Off-network sales are now increasingly challenging and what sales there were became more about shared ownership and stacking rights than ever before.
Here’s a look at how each of the studios fared. (For last year’s tally, click here.) Note: Not included are off-cycle series like CBS’ BrainDead, etc.
20th Century Fox Television: 12 series ordered. (Up from 10 last year.)
Moving from third to first this year, the studio has 10 of its 12 pickups at Fox and shares ownership on its off-network sale to ABC. Fox’s American Idol-sized hole also prompted a slight uptick in series pickups (from 10 to 11 this season), with the studio continuing to reap the benefit.
Making History (Fox)
The Mick (Fox)
Son of Zorn (Fox)
24: Legacy (Fox)
The Exorcist (Fox)
Prison Break* (Fox)
Shots Fired (Fox)
Speechless (ABC) co-production with ABC Studios
This Is Us (NBC)
*Straight to series.
Returning series: 15 (10 at Fox) for a total of 27 on broadcast
ABC Studios: Eight series ordered. (Down from 13 in 2015.)
Ignoring the cancellations of in-house veterans Castle and Agent Carter, the studio tumbled from its regular perch at the top of the pack on this list. The Patrick Moran-led studio had no off-network sales after scoring two sales at CBS and another at Fox last year. Also notable is that its tally, five are co-productions with other studios running point.
Designated Survivor* (ABC) co-production with eOne
Still Star-Crossed (ABC)
Downward Dog (ABC) co-production with Legendary TV
Untitled Sarah Dunn(ABC)
Time After Time (ABC) Warner Bros. Television
Notorious (ABC) co-production with Sony Pictures TV
Imaginary Mary (ABC) co-production with Sony Pictures TV
Speechless (ABC) co-production with 20th Century Fox TV
*Straight to series.
Returning series: 14 (11 on ABC) for a total of 22 on broadcast
Warner Bros. Television: Eight series ordered. (Up from seven last year.)
In addition to boarding CBS Television Studios’ No Tomorrow with its pickup at The CW, Peter Roth’s independent studio had sales at each of the Big Four broadcast networks. Sources say WBTV, which has remained steadfast in its unwillingness to share ownership, is also rumored to have given up a sliver of Training Day to CBS TV Studios in a bid to get the reboot on the air as that stance appears to be changing with the times.
Time After Time (ABC)
Training Day (CBS)
Lethal Weapon (Fox)
Trial and Error (NBC)
Frequency (The CW)
Riverdale (The CW)
No Tomorrow (The CW) co-production with CBS TV Studios
Returning series: 19 (12 on CW) for a total of 27 on broadcast
Universal Television: Seven series ordered. (12 last year.)
Like 20th, nearly all of UTV’s sales this year were to its network counterpart at NBC. Hurting the Bela Bajaria studio’s tally is NBC’s stocked schedule. With fewer holes on its schedule and having renewed all of its tentpoles, the network also opted to pick up fewer series and spread the wealth with nearly half of its pickups off-net buys. A bright spot though: Jason Katims redeveloped Silicon Valley medical drama went to series at CBS with CBS TV Studios boarding as a co-producer.
The Good Place* (NBC)
Taken* (NBC) co-production with Europa Corp.
Chicago Justice (NBC)
Great News (NBC)
Midnight, Texas (NBC)
Pure Genius (CBS) co-production with CBS TV Studios
*Straight to series.
Returning series: 9 (7 on NBC) for a total of 16 on broadcast
Sony Pictures Television: Five series ordered. (Up from four last year.)
The independent studio continued to be aggressive in landing series pickups, even if that means continuing to sacrifice ownership. The studio has two co-productions at ABC (including buzzy Notorious) with another at CBS with Kevin James’ return to the small screen set up at the latter. Meanwhile, the studio is still in talks to bring Cruel Intentions to the small screen on NBC — where it has one of the season’s biggest swings in Timeless.
Imaginary Mary (ABC) co-production with ABCS
Notorious (ABC) co-production with ABCS
Kevin Can Wait (CBS) co-production with CBSTVS
The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC)
Returning series: three for a total of eight on broadcast
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