Super Clyde: The Life Cycle of a TV Pilot

When news broke that Rupert Grint would be starring in a television pilot for CBS as the titular character, “Super Clyde,” we all bounced for joy. Rupert on our TV every week! Starring on a show for a big American network! But most importantly: RUPERT.EVERY.WEEK.

However, buzz kill warning: as exciting as this news is, there’s no guarantee that “Super Clyde” will even make it onto our precious TV screens. The chances of it happening are very up-in-the-air. To help you understand more about the life cycle of a TV pilot and how it eventually ends up on your screen, we’ve broken down the steps:

1.     A pilot is commissioned at the beginning of the year, and actors are cast, and a director, writers, and production crew are all hired. “Super Clyde” is currently scheduled for filming in Los Angeles in March/April.

2.     Network executives will review the pilot. Is it good? Funny? Will audiences enjoy it? Will it fit into their current programming line-up? A lot of factors need to be considered. Bear in mind that “Super Clyde” is one of 12 (!) comedy pilots ordered by CBS. Usually, only one to three pilots are picked for a full season.

3.     A decision is made by May, when the networks unveil their Fall 2013 line-up at what is called an “Upfront.” The CBS Upfront presentation is currently scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, 2013. This is the day we will know for sure whether or not “Super Clyde” will be on our screens every week!

4.     Once a pilot is ordered to series, production begins in full swing!  The network, however, usually does not order the full 22-24 episodes right away. Rather, it orders a few episodes (about 12) and waits to see the ratings before deciding to order a full season.  If a new show is doing poorly, a network can pull it from the schedule at any time.

5.     When a network officially orders a pilot, it premieres either with their fall or midseason line-up. At the moment, we’re assuming “Super Clyde” is in competition for a spot on CBS’s fall schedule meaning it would most likely premiere in September/October. However, it might also be eligible as a midseason replacement in January 2014. Midseason replacements are also announced during the May Upfront.

All that’s left to do now is wait and cross our fingers and toes extra tight. Being vocal about your excitement for “Super Clyde” on social media probably won’t hurt either when it comes time for the networks to make their decision…

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