In the News


NBC Commits To Filming 5 Pilots This Year, Rolls 5 To 2021 As ‘La Brea’ & ‘Debris’ Get On Path To Possible Series Orders

By Nellie Andreeva

June 22, 2020

NBC has made decisions on its 2021 pilot slate, impacted by the coronavirus pandemic-related shutdown.

Of the network’s 12 ordered pilots, NBC will shoot five later this year once production can safely begin. The list includes the two high-profile titles on the pilot list, drama Langdon, Based on Dan Brown’s novel The Lost Symbol, and comedy Night School, based on the 2018 feature, as well as drama Ordinary Joe, whose pilot script was a favorite among NBC brass, and comedies Grand Crew (form. untitled Phil Augusta Jackson/Dan Goor comedy) and American Auto.

Rolled over into next year’s development season are dramas At That Age and Echo and comedies Crazy for YouJefferies and Someone Out There. That leaves sci-fi drama pilots Debris and La Brea.

Debris, from Legendary TV, was the first pilot to get a green light at NBC in January and was possibly the 2020 broadcast drama pilot with the most footage in the can before all Hollywood production shut down in mid-March. I hear the producers were able to edit together the material, complementing the actual footage with additional visuals somewhat in the vein of how The Blacklist completed its unfinished Episode 19 this season, which aired as a season finale.

The pilot was delivered to NBC to what I hear has been a positive reaction. It is now in consideration for a series pickup. Meanwhile, fellow drama pilot La Brea, from Keshet Studios and Universal TV, has received a sizable additional script order.

As Deadline reported in March, in lieu of pilot production, the broadcast networks ordered one backup script for each of their pilots. I hear NBC has now brought the total number of La Brea scripts to six with a new pickup. I hear that the six scripts will be in consideration for a straight-to-series order.

NBC has three new series with straight-to-series orders for next season, drama Law & Order: Organized Crime, starring Christopher Meloni, and comedies Mr. Mayor, starring Ted Danson, and Young Rock, executive produced by Dwayne Johnson. Additionally, comedy series Kenan, starring Kenan Thompson had been rolled to next season as well. Additionally, comedy series Kenan, starring Kenan Thompson had been rolled to next season as well. NBC’s decision today leaves Fox as the only broadcast network to not have weighed in on their crop of pilots.

Thor Freudenthal, who directed the La Brea pilot, is repped by Gersh, the Gotham Group and attorney Rob Szymanski.