Pilot Season Begins in Earnest

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Bex’s agent sent this overview of Pilot Season, for those who might want a little education — and we thought you’d all appreciate it. As auditions start to pick up, and anticipation starts to build, will keep you posted when there’s something fun to share.

In the meantime, look for Bex in episodes 302, 304, 307, 309 and 312 of House of Lies (season 3), and in Arrow episodes 203, 204, 208, 209, 211, 214 (season 2). And as always, you can still catch her in episodes 301-309 of The Killing (season 3)!

A year ago, today, Bex was just learning that they “liked” her for the role of Bullet in “The Killing,” and a lot has happened since then. Fingers crossed for a great 2014 Pilot Season!

JANUARY 27, 2014 08:37 AM PST

Pilot Season 2014: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows and Who’s Starring In Them

BY TEAM TVLINE

Pilot season is here, meaning the networks are taking stock of their needs for 2014-15 and getting the ball rolling toward filling any gaps. With development season about to get really interesting — meaning it’s time to start booking actors for these wannabe series! — we thought it might help to round up the current crop, and well as define some of the lingo that gets tossed around.

RELATED | Renewal Scorecard: What’s Cancelled? What’s Coming Back? What’s on the Bubble?

For easy access: Review the list of pilots for ABC,CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC, and we urge you to bookmark this constantly-updated page for the latest pickup/casting intel.

PILOT | You really want get basic, eh? When a network orders (or “picks up”) a pilot, they’re asking its writers/producers/studio to cast and produce a close facsimile of what their series’ first episode will look like. Each pilot is reviewed by network brass, then typically put into testing before a decision is made on whether it’ll land on the schedule (for fall or midseason).

PLANTED SPIN-OFF | Also called a “backdoor” pilot, this is an episode of an existing series that sets up a prospective offshoot. For example, The Vampire Diaries aired an episode last April focused around Klaus, Elijah and Hayley in New Orleans, and that was a planted pilot for the spin-off The Originals. Free History Lesson: That Brady Bunch episode with new neighbor Ken Berry adopting three orphans? That was a(n ill-fated) planted pilot for a spin-off to be called Kelly’s Kids.

DRAMA/COMEDY PRESENTATION | Occasionally, due to time or budget restraints, a network won’t order a full pilot but a “presentation” of a not-quite-complete drama or a taste of what a sitcom would look like.

CAST-CONTINGENT/CAST CONTINGENCY | Sometimes a network will order a pilot with the caveat that production can’t start until a suitable (usually “name”) actor has been cast in the starring role. (A possible translation: “The premise is iffy, but a big star could really help sell us.”) So you’ll sometimes hear that with the casting of so-and-so, “the cast contingency has been lifted” on a pilot. (The sorta flip-side is an “if-come deal,” meaning the major players are pre-signed and rarin’ to go the instant the network OKs the pilot itself.)

SECOND POSITION | These are perhaps the two words that makes fans of “bubble” shows most nervous each spring, as stars from underperforming series start booking pilots (provided they get the OK from their current bosses). The term literally means that the pilot role is in second position (or priority) should their current show be renewed. Example: In spring 2011, Damon Wayans Jr. booked a lead on Fox’s New Girl, but when ABC renewed Happy Endings, New Girl had to replace his character. An actor booking a second position gig doesn’t always mean his/her current show is doomed… though it often tends to. Variation: A “safe second” means the pilot’s bosses have been discreetly all-but-assured that the actor will be available.

UPFRONTS | This is the week in mid-May when the networks take turns unveiling their schedules for next season — including the pilots that have been ordered to series. With rare exception, if your show doesn’t make the cut here, it’s (gulp) officially a goner.

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