Moonves Bearish on Expensive Pilot Production

While discussing CBS’s quarterly numbers with reporters, CEO Leslie “Les” Moonves suggested that the network will be tweaking its show development model due to the expense of producing pilots, according to a partial transcript posted to Silicon Alley Insider.


Pilots are overated. Its all about episode 20 not episode one. The strike has allowed us to re-examine how you get from point A to point B. I don’t think you have to spend $5 million on a pilot to find a hit.

While I’d like to think that my prognostication has been vindicated, this doesn’t necessarily mean CBS will be developing lots of good content that will appear online first (though they did pick up Wall Strip). Think CSI coming to a city near you and Hawaii Five-O online, because “At CBS, crime has always paid.”

Maybe that’s a bit cynical. The optimist in me is dialing an agent with a pitch for an online, low-budget, short-form, reality police procedural.