Pilot season is the time of year when television networks test out their new shows. It is traditionally in the early summer and it is a very important time for the cast and crew of TV shows.

Most shows are picked up or canceled at this time. Often, the pilot episode is aired during this time to gauge public interest in the show.

When is pilot season

When is pilot season In TV?

Pilot season is the time of year when networks decide whether to pick up new shows or pass on them. Usually, this is in the late winter and early spring.

It’s a nerve-racking time for actors, who are looking for work and hoping that their pilot gets picked up by the network. But it’s also a stressful time for those of us who love TV and want to know what new programs will be coming to our screens in the fall!

The major US broadcast networks (FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC) hold pilot season, where they choose what shows they want to purchase and air on television.

The process is pretty straightforward — every fall, networks agree to some number of television series.

These shows are then developed for the next several months. Once everything is ready, the networks order a certain number of episodes and begin airing them.


Pilot season begins in January or February with meetings between network executives and producers. From these meetings, a small handful of scripts are picked to be made into pilots.

The pilots are then filmed from March through May. The finished products are screened by executives in May or June, and then the final shows are chosen for production in June or July.

Here are some things to know about pilot season:

It’s a busy time for actors. Every year, thousands of actors try out for roles on TV shows.

For example, in 2007, there were almost 7,000 people who auditioned for roles on Ugly Betty.

The stakes are high because most actors only get one chance to audition for each part. Actors might have to wait in line all day just to read a few lines from the script.

What Is Pilot Season?

After casting is complete, production begins on each pilot episode. The production team works extremely hard during this time because they only have a short amount of time to complete the filming process before they have to turn over the footage to network executives for review.

The network executives then decide whether or not they want to buy the show based on their evaluation of the pilot episode. This can be a stressful experience because a lot is riding on their decision and they are under.

When Is Pilot Season?

There are actually two pilot seasons: one in the spring, and one in the summer. 

In the summer, there’s another round of casting calls, which is sometimes called contingent or second-tier casting. 

Contingent auditions are usually held in July, August, and September with an eye toward midseason replacements.

Usually, it’s not possible to know exactly when pilots will be shot until the fall or even later. That’s not because they want to surprise you (although they do) — it’s because as soon as a show gets a green light, they need to get production started right away before actors like you book other jobs.

So how can you prepare? First of all, don’t expect to get an audition with a major network immediately after you book your first commercial or work on a small indie film. 

TV casting directors generally look for prior experience, so it takes time to build your credits before you’re considered for the big leagues. 

How Many Pilots Are Bought During Pilot Season?

A surprising number of pilots are not picked up as official series. Sometimes this is due to the pilot not being good enough, but most of the time it’s because the network has a limited amount of room for new shows.

One of the biggest factors that determine whether a show gets picked up by a network is the ratings it receives after its premiere episode. 

It’s important for networks to get their new shows off to a great start because there is so much competition out there. If they don’t, they could end up cancelling those shows before they didn’t have a chance to find an audience. 

That’s why they spend so much money on these pilots — they want them to be good enough that audiences will want to watch them when they air on television.

When Is Pitching Season For TV Shows?

Pitching season is the time of year when TV shows are trying to sell their ideas to networks. The process of pitching a TV show is a difficult one.

It often involves many people putting in long hours and traveling all over the country to meet with network executives. Trying to get a TV show picked up is a difficult task, but some of the best pitches have come from ideas that were simple and straightforward.

There are many factors that go into a successful pitch, but one thing remains true; the idea has to be unique in order for it to be taken seriously by the executives.

Pitching Season for TV Shows Dates

The pitch season is the time period when television producers go out searching for fresh new content, usually between September and January. These are the months that networks are preparing for next season, which means they’re actively looking for new shows to fill their schedules.

However, some years it can start as early as August and sometimes it lasts until March or April before officially ending.