This is Upfronts Presentation Week, when each of the networks roll out their new fall schedules. Whether your show gets ordered or not, the response is the same. “Oh shit!”
If you did get a pick-up you realize you’re already behind. And in many cases today, show orders come with tiny addendums like… recast half the parts, reshoot the whole pilot, you must hire this show runner to be over you, or these writers you don’t know to your staff.
And if your show didn’t get picked up you’re now one of those show runners hoping to be forced on someone.
So for the victors I say enjoy the hell out of this week. Go to all the cocktail parties. Collect all the SWAG. If there’s a network dinner order the prime rib. Be at the Upfronts presentation. Kvell as you hear your show touted as the best pilot to come along since ER (although the president of NBC at the time hated the ER pilot and had to be talked into putting the show on the air). You know it’s all bullshit. That guy on stage calling your show groundbreaking will be on the phone to you in two weeks ordering you to make it more mainstream.
Agents will be fawning all over you, asking you questions like “how was your weekend” as they gave a flying shit.
You’ll be getting texts and tweets of congratulation, and some will even be from people who don’t want a job. Okay… maybe three.
Tale the Laker tickets if the actors they offered them to first decline.
Relish it all. You deserve it.
The truth is, getting a show on the air is a Herculean feat (unless you’re Chuck Lorre, J.J. Abrams, Jerry Bruckheimer, or Dick Wolf). Think of all the pitches, all the scripts that came in, all the pilots that were produced – many starring bigger names than you had – and for you to emerge with one of those few coveted spots is nothing short of sensational. You made it through countless script notes, casting battles, testing, and executive screenings. So allow yourself to savor this accomplishment. Believe that your show got on because it’s really good, not cause the other candidates were even worse.
Next week the real work begins. So live it up now.