Monday, April 28, 2008

Matt Roush answers Cobby's question about a pilot vs presentation

My sweet friend, Cobby, asked TV Guide's Matt Roush to explain the difference between a television show presentation... like Moonlight had... and a pilot.

Question :
What is the difference between a pilot and a presentation? I'm a Moonlight addict, and I've read about this quite a few times but don't know the difference. — Cobby

Matt Roush :
Simply put, a pilot is usually a full-length episode (sometimes even of TV-movie length) meant to introduce the show's premise and establish its tone. A "presentation," such as Moonlight made before it was picked up last year, is more or less an expanded trailer, a collection of scenes that tell the network what the show will look like and where it's going, but produced at far less expense than a typical pilot. There are more series than ever producing presentations or even bypassing the pilot process and going straight to series production, and the reasons are all economic. Pilots traditionally are produced at a much greater budget than a regular series episode and thus tend to promise more than the actual series can deliver week in and week out. The one thing that pilots and presentations have in common, though, is that they're all works in progress. And what makes TV so exciting to cover is the process of watching a show either live up to the pilot, sometimes even improving along the way, or imploding.

No comments: