Here is Deadline’s annual list of The Overachievers Of Pilot Season. For anyone, landing a pilot is a major accomplishment. These selected few individuals/production companies took that achievement to the next level.
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With marquee comedy clients including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kevin Hart, 3 Arts has been building a strong TV production business. The management/production company has set a new personal record this season with nine greenlights. That includes one straight-to-series order for the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock comedy Tooken at NBC, one pilot/series track order at Fox for Cabot College, from Matt Hubbard, Fey and Carlock, and five more pilots: the comedies untitled Kevin Hart project at ABC, Amy Poehler’s Old Soul and Love Is Relative at NBC and Tom Papa’s More Time With the Family at CBS, plus untitled Richard LaGravenese drama at ABC. Additionally, three 3 Arts pilots from last season, Mulaney and Mr. Robinson, recently received series orders for next season.
Amblin TV has one pilot/series track order at Fox for drama Red Band Society, starring Octavia Spencer, and pilot orders for drama The Visitors at ABC and comedy The Money Pit at NBC. Additionally, the company scored a straight-to-series order this season for sci-fi drama Extant, which landed Halle Berry as the lead, for a summer launch.
Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly‘s Timberman-Beverly has a straight-to-series order at ABC for untitled David O. Russell/Susannah Grant drama and three pilots at CBS, comedy The Odd Couple starring Matthew Perry and untitled John Cusack and David Marshall Grant drama projects.
Aaron Kaplan‘s one-man indie shop Kapital Entertainment landed a pilot order with series penalty at ABC for Secrets & Lies, toplined by Ryan Phillippe, and pilot orders for drama The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing at NBC and comedy Dead Boss starring Jane Krakowski at Fox.
Landing three pilot orders were ABC Studios-based Mark Gordon and Universal TV-based Peter Trougott. Mark Gordon Co.’s pickups include dramas Agatha and Clementine at ABC and comedy Fifth Wheel at NBC. TBD’s pilots include comedies My Thoughts Exactly (ABC) and Lifesaver (NBC) and drama Exposed (ABC).
Nahnatchka Khan, David Caspe, Matt Miller and Pete Huyck & Alex Gregory top the list of creators with two pilots each. Khan is behind comedies Fatrick, which is on series track at Fox, and Fresh Off the Boat at ABC. Caspe has comedy pilots Marry Me at NBC and Cuz-Bros at CBS, while the duo of Huyck and Gregory wrote An American Education at ABC and The Pro at NBC. Miller has one of each, drama pilot Forever at ABC and comedy Good Session at CBS. Additionally, Jennie Snyder Urman wrote the CW pilot Jane the Virgin and co-wrote Fox’s Sober Companion, and Brian Gallivan penned CBS’ The McCarthys, which is being re-piloted by CBS, and new untitled pilot (aka Bambi Cottages) at ABC. Peter Tolan co-wrote another CBS comedy that is shooting a second pilot this season, untitled Jim Gaffigan, and is exec producing ABC pilot Irreversible. Jake Kasdan is directing/executive producing 6-episode Fox comedy series Weird Loners and exec producing ABC pilot Fresh Off the Boat. Peter Horton co-wrote/directs/eps NBC pilot Odyssey and exec produces Fox’s Runner, which has an off-cycle commitment at Fox.
Pods/non-writing producers with two pilots include David Janollari Entertainment (Salvation, Two To Go), K/O Paper Products (Scorpion, Identity), Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare (Marry Me, Cuz-Bros), Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Productions (Flash, The Mysteries of Laura), Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya’s Scripted World (Sea of Fire, Identity), Mandeville (Sea of Fire, Warriors), Gary Sanchez (Mission Control, Bad Teacher), Will Gluck’s Olive Bridge (McCarthys, Brian Gallivan), Michael McDonald (American Crime, Agatha), as well as Jerry Bruckheimer TV, which got two late greenlights, for the CSI planted spinoff and drama Home at Fox, which has an order for pilot-type “prototype” and backup scripts/bible.
Pam Fryman is the undisputed directing champ this season with four pilots (How I Met Your Dad, Cabot College, Save The Date, Cuz-Bros), in addition to helming the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, on which she has served as director/ep since the pilot. Craig Zisk is directing ABC comedy pilot An American Education and NBC’s Two to Go.
It was a very strong season for the WBTV/DC team with four orders, Gotham at Fox, Constantine at NBC and Flash and iZombie at the CW. What’s more, Gotham is already a series, and there is a good chance that at least two of the other three would also get on the schedule.
Several series creators/showrunners branched out, juggling their current shows and newly greenlighted projects, including Bones creator/exec producer Hart Hanson, whose Backstrom received a series pickup at Fox; The Mentalist‘s Bruno Heller, who is behind Fox series Gotham; The Following‘s Kevin Williamson, who has a CBS pilot; Suburgatory‘s Emily Kapnek (ABC comedy pilot Selfie); Neighbors creator Dan Fogelman (ABC pilot Galavant); NCIS and CSI showrunners Gary Glasberg and Carol Mendelsohn, respectively, who also are shepherding the planted spinoff projects. Ditto for How I Met Your Mother creators/exec producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, who oversee spinoff pilot How I Met Your Dad, and Arrow‘s Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, who have pilot Flash.
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Pulling in double duties this pilot season are Casey Wilson, co-creator of one pilot, NBC’s Mason Twins, and star of another, NBC’s Marry Me, and Rashida Jones, exec producer of NBC’s A to Z and star of TBS’ Tribeca. Additionally, stars of several series will be moonlighting on pilots while working full-time on their shows: Parks & Recreation‘s Amy Poehler, co-creator exec producer of NBC comedy pilot Old Soul; The Big Bang Theory‘s Johnny Galecki, exec producer of Fox’s Ricky Blitt pilot; and New Girl‘s Jake Johnson, exec producer of ABC’s The Winklers.