Here's our now-standard preface: For those of you who joined the Scoggins Report mailing list in the past 12 months, this edition of the newsletter is our 3rd annual TV one-off. Cindy, Landon and I absolutely love the TV business and keep track of development and pilot season each year much the same way we do the spec and pitch markets. Now that up-fronts are over and the results of the five broadcast networks' development labor are set in stone, we're wrapping up pilot season with a Scoggins Report-style Scorecard showing how many scripts each network bought, how many were picked up to pilot, and how many of those pilots got ordered to series.
Here's the primary year-over-year takeaway: As you'll see on page 1 of the 2014 Primetime Network Pilot Season Scorecard, embedded below, the networks returned to their 2012 form last summer, collectively buying 23% more projects this year than last, just 5 shy of 2012's total. And while they picked up roughly the same number of pilots as they did in 2012, they ordered 43% more new series than in 2012, just 5 shy (10%) of 2013's tally.
All that said, looking at the networks collectively is not as useful (or even interesting) as examining each of their development patterns separately, and we've done that for you as well, getting into the weeds with each network's year-over-year numbers for half hours and one hours. You'll see what we mean starting on page 3. And for those of you who prefer to read this kind of thing on a tablet, you can click here to download the PDF.
At last. We've finally put our 2013 spec script and pitch market tracking completely to bed: Behold the 2013 Year-End Pitch Market Scorecard in all its glory, below. Starting next week we'll be back to real-time spec and pitch tracking, including the first proper Scoggins Report of the year -- the January 2014 Spec Market Roundup.
In the meantime, take one last look back at who got it done for screenwriters in 2013. For the most part, it's a bunch of familiar names (the #1 agent and #1 agency have been the same for three years running), but there were some new ones as well (six new buyers made the list in 2013).
As always, we like to let the report speak for itself, but here's the single most important take-away, in our humble opinion: The second half of 2013 was way stronger than the first, to the extent that we went from being down 12.5% in total pitch sales at the end of June 2013 to being up 5% by the end of December. We're crossing our fingers that trend continues throughout 2014 and that we'll see record numbers this year.
The 2013 Year-End Pitch Market Scorecard is embedded below. As usual, it's a 39-page beast that includes the Top 5 lists, Buyer and Seller scoreboards, individual agent and manager tallies, plus the details of all 85 pitch sales, including loglines. Scroll down to check it out, or click here to download the PDF.
You'd think after doing this for 5 years we'd have the Year-End Spec Market Scorecard edition of The Scoggins Report out by mid-January. No harm no foul, though -- we know most of you are just starting to think about spec scripts again, now that the post-holiday/Sundance interregnum ended a couple of days ago.
We don't want to steal the report's thunder, so we'll tease just one of our favorite take-aways from the 2013 spec market: Even though the total number of new scripts on the market last year hit a five year low (280, which is 17% below 2012's 338), the total number of spec sales was down just 6% from 2011's and 2012's record high (124, compared to 132 the last two years).
Oh, okay, one more tidbit, to whet your appetite for what we hope is in store in 2014: After lagging their collective 2012 numbers for the first 3/4 of the year, the studios stepped back up in Q4 2013, collectively buying 15 spec scripts, compared to 11 during the same period in 2012. We think that, not to mention the fact that we've tracked 9 spec sales already in 2014, bodes well for the coming year.
The 2013 Year-End Spec Market Scorecard is embedded below. As usual, it's a 50-page beast that includes the Top 5 lists, the Buyer and Seller scoreboards, individual agent and manager tallies, plus the details of all 124 spec sales, with links to their records on SpecScout. Scroll down to check it out, or click here to download the PDF.
For the 1000 or so of you who joined the Scoggins Report mailing list in the past year, this one's a bit of a curveball. Cindy and I don't talk about it much in this space, but we both love the TV business almost as much (or, in Cindy's case, even more than) we love the movie business, and we track it nearly as closely (with a lot of help from our friends). Last year we decided to do a Scoggins Report-style Scorecard at the tail end of pilot season, just before the networks' upfront presentations, showing how many scripts each network had bought, how many of them had been picked up to pilot, and how many of those pilots got ordered to series. People dug it, so we decided to do it again this year.
The 2013 Primetime Network Pilot Season Scorecard turned out even better than 2012's, if we say so ourselves, thanks to the year-over-year comparison we were able to do. Here's the big year-over-year takeaway: It was much harder to sell a TV pitch this past development season than the previous year (the networks ordered 100 fewer scripts for 2013 than for 2012), but if you got lucky during development season, your chances of getting picked up to pilot and then of getting ordered to series were much higher in 2013 than in 2012 (the networks ordered 46% more new scripted series in 2013 than in 2012).
You'll see what we mean in the grids on the first two pages of the 2013 TV Pilot Season Scorecard, below. And for those of you who prefer to peruse it on your tablets, you can click here to download this week's PDF.
Ta-dah! The actual moment you were waiting for: The unveiling of the 2012 Year-End Spec Market Scorecard. This is our fourth annual edition, marked not only by a series of incremental improvements to the format and data but by something unprecedented since we've been covering the market:
2012's total number of spec sales -- 132 -- is exactly the same as 2011's.
We know, we reported a couple of months ago that 2012 had improved over 2011 significantly, but in preparation for this week's monster Scoggins Report we combed through all our data once again and recalculated all our numbers yet again. At the end of the day (or year, as it were), 2012 ended up exactly on par with 2011.
And that was no mean feat: Recall that 2011 marked a 15-year record high for spec sales. Last year, the studios bought a few more specs than the year before (59 vs 53), and more non-studio buyers got into the game as well (62 vs 56).
But we don't want to give away all of the Scorecard's secrets -- check out the document for yourself.
Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The 2012 Year-End Pitch Sales Scorecard. (If the moment you were waiting for had to do with the filing of a certain lawsuit, that happened this morning. And if the moment you were waiting for was the 2012 Year-End Spec Market Scorecard, that will publish next week.)
This is the second time we’ve done a year-ender for pitches, and like last year, the document is a beast. We’ve combined the Scorecard, which shows who bought and sold what each month in 2012, with the Roundup, with its weekly activity breakdowns and the details of all 81 pitches that got set up last year.
The resulting document is hefty, but what can we say. We’re hardcore like that. Enjoy.
2014 Spec Sales A list of each individual spec sale so far this year, in reverse chronological order.
2013 Spec Sales Last year's spec sales, in reverse chronological order.
Spec Market Roundups Our monthly recap of the spec market.
Spec Market Scorecards The year-to-date numbers for who's been buying and selling specs.
Pitch Market Roundups Our monthly recap of the pitch market.
Pitch Market Scorecards The year-to-date numbers for who's been buying and selling pitches.
Year End Scorecards Compendia of each year's spec and pitch markets, from 2009 through 2012.
The Ultimate Screenwriting Resources Page Links to all the best screenwriting-related books, articles, websites, forums, job boards, podcasts, newsletters, blogs, clubs, classes and high profile contests in one place.