Over the summer at Comic Con fans of the graphic novel Locke & Key were treated to the pilot episode of the show based on the book by Stephen King progeny Joe Hill. MTV has now shown an interest in the show after Fox and Syfy networks passed on it. A few weeks ago the trailer for the episode hit the Web sparking an Internet cry: Why couldn't this show make it onto the fall schedule?
Well, good news: If we change the system it can! Here's the idea and it's all thanks to Simon Cowell.
Pilot Week: Where five shows compete for one series pick-up.
Rules: Each network picks a week in December (usually a wasteland of repeats of original programming; first pick goes to the network with the most overall ratings) and airs one pilot per night that is under consideration for a future pick-up. Viewers go online and vote for their favorite episode at the end of the week. Networks will also put up the episodes on their website and on iTunes as well. Any downloads get counted as a vote for that show (just like The Voice). Winners are announced during Network Upfront Week.
What if you could pick the shows you want to see on television instead of some chairman of a network? (That's the tagline!)
Adding Pilot Week to the schedule will energize a medium that has been stagnant for far too long. Not only will people get to choose their favorite possible show, but the show creators and writers will be championing their work via social media -- the result being a sort of grassroots campaign for every considered show. Plus, imagine the implications this will have for advertisers: they can see concrete numbers of how many people watched the show and voted for it to become a series.
Think about being able to watch the failed Wonder Woman pilot in all its absurd glory, and making sure it doesn't get picked up for a series. Or being part of the reason why Lost made it to series. The public not only gains some control over what they want to watch, but takes a little bit of ownership and pride in the show. The need to stop the hemorrhaging of people abandoning their cable and satellite providers is now and this is an "outside the box" idea that will fix it.
For the networks, it's a boon too. If only NBC could have put Outsourced on during Pilot Week, they would have known what everyone knew before the show even aired last fall: that it stunk and no one would watch. Pilot Week would cut down on network mistakes, and when networks are offering up shows like Outsourced (and soon Whitney), cutting mistakes is probably a good idea.
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