Feb. – May: Executives read scripts and take “staffing meetings” with agents and managers for network shows.
Late May: Upfronts (when networks show off their new shows to entice advertisers to commit to buy commercial airtime “up front”, months before the shows’ premieres), pilots are picked up to series, staff is put in place.
June: Most writer rooms begin.
July: Shows start shooting.
DEVELOPMENT TIME LINE
June – Oct: Networks hear pitches (Cable hears pitches year around)
Aug. – Sept: Scripts are ordered
Nov: Outlines are delivered
Dec: Scripts are delivered
Jan – Feb: Pilots are ordered
Feb – March: Pilots are shot
May: Pilots picked up to series
The cable TV world follows its own rules. Development and production occurs throughout the year since many series don’t follow the standard 26 episode series.