NBCU also quashes pilots


It’s a cost-cutting frenzy over at NBCU—anything to please the Jolly GE giant!

Jeff Zucker, NBCU CEO, just days after confirming their upfront presentations are done, said Tuesday NBC was moving to save as much as 50 million a year by reducing its reliance on pilots of new series.
The decision was made as the company looked for ways to cut costs in response to the WGA strike and slowdown in the economy, Zucker was quoted as saying. “It’s clear we are in a recession in the United States, and we’re going to have to manage our business accordingly.”

Zucker said the pilots’ production cost has shot up to 7 million for an hour from about 3 million three years ago and were a poor indicator of the future success of a series and many never move beyond the pilot stage.
“So you’re spending money on programs you’re not going to get,” Zucker said, adding NBC might still commission one or two pilots a season.

TVBR observation: Is the WGA strike actually a godsend to the studios if the US economy is heading into recession? Automatic cost-cutting and no worries about your rivals having any potential advantage over you.