With the increasing uncertainty, confusion, and unpredictability surrounding the 2019 edition of the L.A. Screenings, it's a comfort to take stock of what actually is known.
It's a definite that Twentieth Century Fox TV Distribution won't be screening during the studios portion, to be held May 16-23.
It's also known that Disney Media Distribution won't be throwing its traditional Sunday Upfronts Party and that Paramount and CBSSI will be sharing the Paramount Theater on the Paramount Studios lot.
Also known is the fact that Sony Pictures will host general screenings on a single day (May 21) and, (as was reported by one European buyer), will be giving a party that evening. Paramount also plans to throw a party that same night, and on the evening of May 22, will host a Rocketman screening event on its studio's lot. This year, Paramount will come back with a four-day screenings schedule.
Then, there is Viacom, which will hold a breakfast screenings at the Intercontinental Hotel on Friday, May 17, and Lionsgate, which will have its general screenings and cocktails on Sunday, May 19.
Finally, it is known that this year's Screenings will see fewer pilots than recent editions. And, to add to the confusion, there is the epic game of musical chairs being played by TV network programming executives: Showtime's David Nevins is going to CBS, ABC's Channing Dungey is moving to Netflix, AMC's Charlie Collier is now at FOX, and Dana Waiden is moving from FOX to Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment.
Plus, creative talents such as Kenya Barris (Black-ish), Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy), and Ryan Murphy (Glee) have exited traditional television for the freedom that Netflix and other SVoD services offer. For example, Amazon has contracted overall deals with Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), and Jill Soloway (Transparent)-, Hulu has engaged Handmaid's Tale showrunner Bruce Miller; and Apple has inked a deal with Bates Motel co-creator Kerry Ehrin.
On the plus side, the limited creativity offered by traditional television often is compensated by unlimited residuals--something that streaming media exclusivity doesn't offer.
After the above headlines, let's move to the in-depth reports. Before MIP-TV, just 63 pilots had been ordered for the 2019-2020 season by the major TV networks. At the same time last year, 74 had already been commissioned. However, by the time the networks went to the broadcast Upfronts in New York...