FOX at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on January 13, 2014.
- FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly laid waste to the traditional pilot season on Monday, telling the TCA winter press tour that his network would scrap the old model of pilots filmed in March, series announced in May, launched in September and then cancelled or picked up for 22 episodes before Christmas in favour of a year-round model of series with shorter episode runs like cable TV. While his “RIP pilot season 1986-2013” slide may have shocked some, Vancouver crews have experienced FOX’s new model already. Almost Human and Backstrom pilots were filmed here last March but FOX has limited both series to 13 episodes. Event series Wayward Pines didn’t have a traditional pilot and neither does about-to-start-filming Gracepoint and Fox has limited them both to 10 episodes. Gotham has a pilot order, [which will be filmed in New York City] , but Reilly says FOX is prepping it like a series. “When you slow down the conveyor belt, the quality goes up,” Reilly argued.
- Almost Human, a bromance about a part-robot cop John Kennex (Karl Urban) and his part-human android partner Dorian (Michael Ealy) wrapped filming of its 13-episode season before Christmas here. Fans criticized FOX for airing the series so late in the Fall and so out of order. Reilly acknowledged to GiveMeMyRemote.com that Almost Human suffered from a “crazy delivery pattern” with “holidays and sports interruptions” but thinks the show is in a “pretty good groove right now and I really love our leads.” FOX put Almost Human on hiatus for the next few weeks, returning Monday, February 3rd, with Unbound, guest-starring John Laroquette as “Nigel”, Dorian’s creator.
- Backstrom has what Reilly calls FOX’s “next great asshole protagonist” in the self-destructive, offensive, irascible and brilliant Portland detective (Rainn Wilson). Rival CBS ordered the pilot and it filmed here last March but the Procedural Network passed unexpectedly. It seemed dead until FOX resurrected it last week as a 13-episode series. From Bones showrunner Hart Hanson, the procedural with a twist already has four scripts and is scheduled to [to do a week of pilot reshoots in April and then start filming the other 12 episodes in May].
- The Sixth Sense filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines, starring Matt Dillon, did have a pilot of sorts but it filmed in the summer and then the show went on hiatus for six weeks while production completed the massive block-long set of this fictional Idaho town on Pioneer Street in Agassiz. Wayward Pines resuming filming last Fall and is currently shooting the fifth of ten episodes here. Reilly told the TCA that Wayward Pines will air when he and Shyamalan feel it’s ready.
- Gracepoint is an American remake of the hit British murder mystery Broadchurch starring David Tennant of Doctor Who fame. It starts filming in greater Victoria at the end of the month with David Tennant reprising his lead role but this time as an American detective in a coastal California town. Other name cast includes Anna Gunn and Nick Nolte. Reilly considered airing the original Broadchurch on FOX but felt that there would be too much of a cultural divide. He does expect Gracepoint to have “lot of faithfulness” to the original series but with 10 episodes instead of eight, the “ending will be different”.