This has been inevitable since former Fox head of programming Kevin Reilly left/was pushed out last month: his plan — announced at TCA winter press tour — to kill pilot season has itself been killed. Fox has pulled the plug on Hireoglyph, one of the shows Reilly had ordered “straight to series” last fall. As I wrote at Quartz,
Ironically, Fox ended up doing the very thing Reilly had tried to avoid: sinking large amounts of money into a show that will never see the light of day.
While Fox is still moving forward on Gotham, one of its other straight-to-series pickups, it’s clear that the reports of the death of pilot season have been greatly exaggerated.
This is crazy to me. We’ve all known for years that Netflix has stubbornly refused to release any ratings information on its shows. Now, I wrote at Quartz, it turns out that not even the people who make Netflix’s most popular (we think) shows have any idea how many viewers actually watch their programming.
“It’s like, ‘I’m a hit —I think,’” Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan told The Hollywood Reporter. The lack of viewership metrics from Netflix “makes it hard to negotiate later,” she says, referring to the standing industry practice in which the stars and producers of hits shows leverage ratings success for significant raises in a show’s third or fourth season.
I also wrote about Netflix’s excuses for withholding that data — and why they don’t hold water.