Well, the results of Lawren Bancroft-Wilson’s Fantasy Pilot Television League (named after the guy who did all the leg work for us) are in!  Although my former Stargate nemesis Ashleigh lead through most of the season, I overtook her in the final days of “pick-up Heaven/cancellation Hell” to win our pool by an impressive four points!

However, my impressive showing in that pool only earned me a second place TIE on this blog’s version of league play.  Our winner should quit their day job, head down to Hollywood, and get a job as a network executive since the current crop of t.v. execs scored a woeful – 11 (that’s negative 11!) in the pool.  Thankfully, you were all in positive territory (some more than others).

Interesting to note: Had you predicted cancellation for every one of the shows on this list, you would have come away with a strong 15 point finish.  Not enough to win, but remarkable nevertheless.

To refresh your memory, Lawren supplied us with a list of each network’s Fall lineup and we were asked to predict each show’s renewal prospects.  As for the league’s scoring system: ” If a show get’s picked up or cancelled (pulling the episodes from their original dates will count as cancellation) your choice will be multiplied two fold. So +1 for a correct choice. -1 for a wrong choice. -2 if you bet against a show that get’s an early pickup. +2 if your correctly choose a show will get cancelled and has it’s airing cut short.”

So, once the dust settled, how did the scoring system break down?  Check it out…

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 12.59.08 PMAnd, most importantly how did you all do?  Well, I tabulated everyone’s score (skipping blank responses and “maybes”) and each result was verified by my french bulldog, Lulu, who was sitting on my lap at the time.  So if you’d like to file an appeal, please do so with her.

As for the results…

MReed, Bailey, Saryn Kitamo, DP, Miguel Reimer, and Rebecca = All ended up in the single digits.  You’re too optimistic.  Or, possibly, too pessimistic.  Or jointly optimistic and pessimistic about the wrong shows.

Randomness, Archersangel, PBMom, Sylvia and Alexis = 11-14.  Not bad.  You’ve earned “I told you so” status.

And now on to our Top finishers…

#4 Tie: fsmn36 = 17 points.  Best pick: Brooklyn Nine Nine.  Worst pick: Ironside.

#4 Tie: Airelle  = 17 points.  Best pick: Junior Masterchef.  Worst pick: Sean Saves the World.






#3 Tie: ProfMadMax = 18 points.   Best pick: Brookly Nine Nine.  Worst pick: Dracula.






#2 Tie: Marsha = 21 points.  Best pick: Junior Masterchef.  Worst pick: Intelligence.

#2 Tie: Me = 21 points Best pick: Brooklyn Nine Nine.  Worst pick: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.






And our WINNER….






#1: Kathode = 23 points!  Best pick: Junior Masterchef  Worst Pick: Trophy Wife.

 Congratulations!  Remember us when you’re working for FOX.

Happy Mother’s Day!

35 thoughts on “May 11, 2014: The Fantasy Pilot Television League results are in!

  1. Congrats Kathode, and lol I did pretty badly, I was a bit too kind with some shows and a bit too optimistic with others about their chances. If you do this again in the fall I promise to be a bit more brutal lol.

    Anyway 3 shows that surprised me this season.

    Once Upon a Time in Wonderland – I never expected this to fail the way it had done, I was thinking it would pull around 5-6 million, 1.4-1.9 in its slot on ABC which may have got it over the line.

    Believe – I honestly thought this would do really well, I love the show, anyway I was thinking around 5-7 million during its run and around a 1.4-2.0 once it was established in its timeslot.

    Almost Human – Though Fox have done incredibly poor this year I saw this as a potential hit and thought it would have been pulling closer to the 2.0 mark than the 1.5. Clearly this was canceled because it would have required a huge commitment to get to syndication, something Warner Bros wasn’t willing to do judging by their unwillingness to drop the fee when Fox approached them with the intention of renewing(Despite losing money on it).

    But yeah, it was a fun guessing game anyway 🙂

  2. Wow! Congrats Kathode! What does the winner receive? A new car? A trip to Cleveland? Is it bragging rights? Ooooo!

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there celebrating. I hope your spawn spoiled you like mine did.


  3. Not that I was ever remotely in contention, but what exactly do the winners win, again? 🙂

  4. Woo hoo! So, Kathode, what sort of bribery do you need to hire us? I volunteer Joe to cook for you and I will do the dishes. 🙂

  5. Hi Joe,

    I assume 80% of new shows will get canceled, but maybe that’s too optimistic!

    The article you linked the other day about the lack of show-runners was interesting. The comments were even more illuminating — lots of different views on what’s to blame. I think a lack of Canadian immigrants to Hollywood is the biggest problem 😉

    I wanted to tell you I read The Glass Castle on your recommendation. It’s a riveting memoir indeed, and very moving. I didn’t find it as funny as you did, though. I was so angry with her parents for being such complete losers, I didn’t really feel the humor. But in the end, I guess the parents had a point — such a horrible upbringing did make at least 3 of the 4 kids extremely self-sufficient, resilient, and successful. I think I’d have caught a cold and died before my teens.

    I think there are a lot of parents like Jeannette’s — they have all the right intentions but just can’t get their sh*t together. The fact she had that land all that time is just incredible, isn’t it?

    Did you know the book has been optioned, with Jennifer Lawrence set to product and star? What do you think about that?

    I can’t believe how much you read, Joe. Probably 50x my rate. One of your mentions I didn’t finish was The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I found it so ponderous, I’m sure I didn’t make it to page 50. Good for you for slogging through it. Do you ever give up on a book before the end?

    1. I found The Glass Castle alternately hilarious and infuriating. That scene where she comes home and discovers the remnants of her piggy bank? I would have never forgiven him had it been my father.

      As for a potential movie starring Jennifer Lawrence = meh. It would be like making a series based on the works of David Sedaris. I don’t think a big or small screen adaptation will even come close. It’ll be like the Series of Unfortunate Events movie.

      I rarely abandon books. But, now that you mention it, I did just the other day. I hate to admit it, but it was a collection of short stories by Theodore Sturgeon. The opening story was so terribly dated I just couldn’t do it.

  6. Ha! Well at least I was in positive territory 🙂 But yeah I think I was influenced by which shows I wanted to be renewed… Oh well There’s always next year!

  7. Joe, I too, am very impressed with how many books you read. Would you consider adding another sidebar listing 20 recommended books? As you find an even better book than in the list, it would knock one off the list, to always keep the list at 20. Sometimes when I get in the mood for a good book, it is too hard to find your post where you recommended some. A sidebar would be great.

    Also, why don’t you pick the book of the month selection from a book you have read and found very good? It would save us from getting a stinker like The Rich and The Dead (even though the review and comments were classic comedy)

    1. “Would you consider adding another sidebar listing 20 recommended books?”

      Great idea. I’ll have one up tonight.

  8. Thanks for responding, Joe. I did find their attempt to escape Phoenix and leaving the car and all their supplies on the side of the road pretty funny, since they got a ride home! I agree the piggy bank theft was unforgivable. All their hopes dashed, so sad. I imagine the movie will be tragically melodramatic and probably meant as an Oscar vehicle for Lawrence. I see what you mean about the Events movie — that would be a disaster.

    I love David Sedaris — his works I find hilarious, especially his more recent books.

    Good for you for bailing on a book. Glad I’m not the only one 🙂

  9. Congrats Kathode! Stellar performance. I wish I’d known about this earlier. I would have loved to play.

    Networks need a certain number to fail or they would have no room for the new shows in the next year. Disppointing when it’s a show you like.

    Can we get rid of networks totally? like cut out the middle man. We pay upfront for shows that we like and download to our TV?

    Cheers Chev

  10. honestly what is it with Fox they put out great genre programming and just cancel them I can’t take it anymore I just can’t watch Fox anymore.

  11. Congrats Kathode!
    I never vote Fantasy Pilot Television League, due to the long delay in Broadcasting them here. Also if there is insufficient number of episodes sure never come to see them.
    All platforms of video on demand are not accessible from here. I don´t know why the channels are surprised when people DOWNLOAD the episodes. I have no patience to do this.
    At least i have SyFy in my cable provider ( arrrghhh 😥 ). I can´t unsubscribe, because its built into the premium package with all the other interesting channels. I can´t lose the stitching Channel and Dogs Hairdresser. 🙂

  12. Sleepy Hollow just got a safe slot for Season 2, now at 9pm it immediately follows what I believe to be the next hit show on Fox, Gotham. This should ensure that Sleepy Hollow gets a third season. Not to mention Fox has sandwiched Brooklyn Nine-Nine between the Simpsons and Family Guy, it has been moved to 9pm Sunday, which again is a great move for it.

    While Fox is down, they’re clearly not out. I don’t think their schedule is that bad.

  13. Congratulations Kathode!

    I’m very surprised I ended up in positive numbers and will take it. Thanks Joe for tabulating all our votes and letting us know. 😀

  14. Bad news guys.. Another shopper at Target informed me that if my hair isn’t naturally red Saint Peter won’t let me into heaven. Why? Because if I die while my hair is dyed it’ll confuse Saint Peter. Damnit. Now I don’t know what to do! I could try dying my hair back to its original color but I’m no longer sure what that is! And if I wait for it to grow out In screwed if I die before it does!!!

    I’m panicking over here everyone! ALL those years in Sunday school and ALL those years being a PK and reading and studying the Bible I’d never known this!

    Oh. My. God! I can never do Cosplay again! What If I finally get a Lara Croft costume and get crushed by a stampede of Stormtroopers?! How would Saint Peter ever recognize me dressed as her?

    Pray for me.

  15. Ha! I was following all the cancellations so close these last few days and just updating my list. 4th place, not too bad. I should go into TV. 😉

    Congrats to everyone and especially Kathode! I hope you do this next year, Joe; it was fun to have an “official” record of where I thought TV was heading.

  16. @whoviantrish
    @Another shopper at Target informed me that if my hair isn’t naturally red Saint Peter won’t let me into heaven

    I’m genuinely amazed someone could say something like that to another person. It’s so silly, I doubt heaven would care if someone had hair, what their hair style or whatever is.

  17. @maggiemayday

    The Millers numbers were inflated by having The Big Bang Theory as a lead in. While The Crazy Ones started off well, it dropped a bit, way below what Mom was getting. If they had to renew some rookie sitcoms it had to be The Millers and Mom, they made the most sense, despite Mom doing marginally better.

  18. @ whoviantrish

    Three women not naturally red haired, die together in an accident and go to heaven. When they get there, St. Peter says, “We only have one rule here in heaven … don’t step on the ducks.
    ” So they enter heaven, and sure enough, there are ducks all over the place. It is almost impossible not to step on a duck, and although they try their best to avoid them, the first woman accidentally steps on one. Along comes St. Peter with the ugliest man she ever saw. St. Peter chains them together and says, “Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this ugly man!”
    The next day, the second not naturally red woman accidentally steps on a duck, and along comes St. Peter, who doesn’t miss a thing, and with him is another extremely ugly man. He chains them together with the same punishment as the first woman.
    The third not naturally red woman has observed all this and, not wanting to be chained for all eternity to an ugly man, is very, VERY careful where she steps. She manages to go months without stepping on any ducks, but one day St. Peter comes up to her with the most ugly man she has ever laid eyes on. St. Peter chains them together without saying a word.
    The woman remarks, “I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all of eternity?” And the guy says, “Well, I don’t know what you did, but I stepped on a duck.”

  19. @skua 😀 I laughed out loud at that.

    @randomness I said, “Really. Saint Peter knows who I am.” Then I realized I should have said “Duh! I’m a Satanist.”

    Or maybe I should have given him Liv Spector’s book to read. Or I could have told him 1849 called and wants its obsolete, narrow-minded, erroneous thinking back.

    @tam dixon ::) I know. Maybe an eye roll was all I should have given him.

  20. Congrats Kathode. I’ll take my 14 and be proud. I probably would have done better if I watched less of them, especially on Fox. That actually was where I did my second worst. I netted 0 on that bunch, -1 on CW predictions, +7 on NBC predictions, +4 on CBS and +4 on ABC.

  21. @ Randomness — NBC cancelled Believe??? That IS is great show, decently written, fast-paced, and the cast has terrific chemistry with one another. I watched the most recent episode this afternoon, after hearing the news. I Love this show, too. So glad there will be a few more new episodes returning on May 25th. Jeepers, or JAY-pers, as my grandmother would have said!

    @ Joe — What is WITH NBC and the way they kill off great television, and characters we can quickly invest in? They killed off a great psychological drama with Jason Isaacs in Awake, and now Believe? I realize people also like lighter fare, but NBC also knocked out some terrific, character-driven comedy in Go On, with Matthew Perry, and Animal Practice, featuring many of the actors in the just cancelled Community. I know the stock reasons for cancellations, such as Ratings and Revenue, but has this crop of executives forgotten Strategy? Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but when Cheers first aired, weren’t the ratings only so-so? But some exec at the time realized the show’s worth and kept it in the same time slot for 11 years. They used patience, the audience found it, loved it, and made the network a lot of revenue. When the much-loved ensemble comedy bowed out, it was a viewing event. Does the network think all the public wants/can handle is peanuts and circus? If true, that’s incredible.

    Like many of us here, most of the shows I appreciate are British written and air on PBS. The story lines are beautifully written, photographed, and full of Humor, as well as drama and wit. I would love that high degree of television writing, acting, and production invested in North American shows. Will American network executives and funding ever get a clue?

    Sorry for the rant, and no offense meant to you, Joe, or any of our blog friends who work in the industry. I very much hope “the band does get back together.” There will have to be a blog party of some kind, for sure!

    @Skua — That was a great video. 😎

  22. I attribute my success firstly to research: I tried to actually watch as many of the pilots as I could, and anything I couldn’t watch myself I read professional TV critic reviews of. Secondly, I attribute it to cynicism: even if I sorta liked a weak show and could maybe see giving it a chance, I assumed no one else would be as patient. If it wasn’t out-of-the-gate good, I voted against it.

  23. Sorry, congrats to Kathode! Good research and instincts! 🙂 Maybe some of your cynicism would help me. I don’t watch very many shows, so when one I do like gets cancelled, it’s really disappointing.

    @ JeffW — Don’t worry about your comments the other day. I didn’t think they were crass. They were in context for the blog and our running commentary with each other. They made me laugh, actually. 😀

  24. @whoviantrish: That was bizarre. Personally, I would have just dispensed with the formalities and punched them in the scrum.

    Given the television themed post, I thought I would try watching a couple of sitcoms tonight (which I NEVER do) – 2 Broke Girls and Friends with Better LIves. OMG, is this what passes for funny these days? I actually feel embarrassed for these people.

    *swears off sitcoms again*

    Congratulations, Kathode!!

    In other news, my downstairs renovation is practically complete. I took today off to finish it off and it looks great! (I think)

  25. you know, i thought that the crazy ones & michael j. fox’s show would make it to at least a second season. i think one of the factors was money (at least in the case of the crazy ones) if the two leads (williams & gellar) had been no-names or nearly unknown & getting less money (i don’t know any actual figures), the network might have given it another season to see if the numbers would come up.

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