Most people in Hollywood right now are seeing RED. I'm not talking about the pretty red tulips above either. After weekly pitching for the last year, what I'm finding is that Networks don't want to spend money right now.
We have lots of interest in our projects but no real money offered up front at all. We have development deals with no money, and I think those days of getting money up front are over. Networks are really going to be very careful about what they pick up from here on out. There are fewer and fewer pilots being shot and even fewer reality shows being picked up as well. BUT there is work out there. And there are Networks still buying concepts and shows! Until I have a solid contract and check in my hand I am going to continue to pound the pavement and pitch!
I recently did a great Media panel in front of members of the National Speakers Association. I got to hear lots of pitches. These pitches ranged from experts pitching themselves, people with a new product pitching the product, and people pitching ideas like reality shows. In general, I really feel like people think that pitching a reality show is easy. Its not. And there is a lot of competition out there. And not to mention the fact that if yours isn't clever and different, its probably already been pitched a hundred times already!
From what I have seen - people just don't do their homework. There is no hook, no substance, and it doesn't differ from anything else on the market. I had a gentleman show me his three pitches on reality shows that centered around the job market. He told me he went out pitching them with a known producer in town and wondered why he got a no thank you. I was shocked that he hadn't done any homework to see if there was anything else currently out there like it on the market. I was also horrified that within his three paragraphs about the show, I still couldn't figure out exactly what the show was about! Really?
When we put our shows together we research, test, talk about, discuss with networks about what they are looking for, finding something unique every time we even think about taking something out into the marketplace. I consistently coffee with key players in the industry and run new ideas by them, if I don't get a "that's fresh," I know there won't be an interest to take it further.