Vashti writes in:
I was a PA on a pilot last month, but I still haven’t been told if it will become a series. What happens if it doesn’t? Will I get to work on a different series? If not, can I even put it on my resume? There isn’t even an IMDb page for it.
Most shows don’t find out if they’re picked up1 until the Upfronts. That’s when the networks announce their fall schedules to advertisers, and try to sell ad time “upfront.” This year, they begin May 15th, so your question is rather timely.
As for your specific situation, I’ve got bad news and worse news…
The Bad News
Networks produce way more pilots than series. The odds are against any one show making it to air. And no, you won’t get transferred to another series. Remember, you don’t work for the network or the studio; you work for the show.
The Worse News
Not only is your boss at liberty to replace you, their boss might replace them. Likely, you came as a package deal with the AD or coordinator who hired you. You might be out of a gig through no fault of your own.
The Slightly Less Bad But Still Not Really “Good” News
Let’s suppose either of the above scenarios occurs. The pilot might not ever see the light of day, and even if it does, odds are slim your name will be in the credits. Can you still put it in your resume?
It’s sad when your pilot doesn’t become a series, but don’t focus on the bad news. You got some valuable experience out of the deal, possibly made some friends along the way. All of that will help you land your next gig.
Unless there’s another writers strike, and then we’re all screwed.
You might be wondering why this blog has been on hiatus for a little while. Well, it’s because I haven’t been on hiatus. Between the show I’m on (fingers crossed it gets renewed) and the TAPA book, I haven’t had a ton of free time to just blog.
I suppose it would be easier if there was someone else to write the blog with. If anyone’s interested in taking up some of the slack, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve got a funny anecdote or some sage advice you’d like to share with the world, I’d be happy to get it out there.
- The industry term for a pilot being ordered to series.↩