Pilot & Casting Process

Pilot Process

Series:
1) A pilot order is sent. At this stage, the pilot status is Casting in Process.
2) Casting starts, meaning that all the involved talents in the show (actors/actresses or hosts and executive producers) decide whether they want to be in the project or not.
3) Once casting is ready, the pilot is produced and it receives a quality score from 0 to 10. This has nothing to do with the rating that the show will have when it’s aired.
4) At this point, the Network will decide whether it wants to go ahead and pick it up, make some changes and re-shoot the pilot or pass. If the Network passes, then the pilot becomes shelved, meaning that it will not become a series and talents go back to being available.
5) If the Network likes the pilot and wants to make it a series, it has to order an amount of episodes.
6) Once those episodes have been ordered, the show is ready to air.

Pilot Quality Score

The first and most important thing to understand is that Pilot Quality Scores are not random, and the Game Admin (aka Me) has absolutely nothing to do with the final results. It's all based on a simple formula.
Each Pilot has several categories rated between 0 and 10 and each category has a weigh towards the final quality score. You can find all that information below, first you have the categories in the case of a Ficitional Show and then a Non-Fictional Show:

Fiction Series
Variety Series
Title / Originality / Plot
15%
Title / Originality / Concept
15%
Characters & Talent
15%
Talent
15%
Showrunner + Writer
10%
Showrunner + Writer
10%
Executive Producer (s)
5%
Executive Producer (s)
5%
Director
5%
Director
5%
Leading Cast
15%
Repertory Players
15%
Supporting Cast
10%
Featured Players
10%
Production Quality
10%
Production Quality
10%
Production Budget
5%
Production Budget
5%
Random Factor (1-100)
10%
Random Factor (1-100)
10%
Total
100%
Total
100%

Game Shows
Reality Shows - Competition
Title / Originality / LA
25%
Title / Originality / LA
25%
Talent
15%
Talent
15%
Executive Producer (s)
10%
Executive Producer (s)
10%
Host (s)
15%
Host (s)
15%
Production Budget
15%
Judge (s)
15%
Daily Prize Budget
10%
Production Budget
10%
Random Factor
10%
Random Factor
10%
Total
100%
Total
100%

 

Critic reviews will determine the scores of Title, Originality, Plot, Concept, LA (lasting appeal), characters and talent.
Director, writer, executive producer (s), cast, host (s) and judges scores are on the Talent DB.
Production Quality is determined by the "quality stars" when completing the pilot forms.
Production Budget (and daily prize budget for game shows) scores can be found in the Production Costs.
Random Factor is self-explanatory, a random number between 1-100.

Pilot & Casting Process

Process for casting your Series:
The first factor that talents (actors / actresses, producers, writers, directors, hosts, etc.) will have in mind before accepting or declining a job offer will be whether they are willing to participate on a TV Show or not (this is determined by the current and past work of talents).
The second factor is the role you are offering each talent. ALL actors/actresses on the DB will accept a Leading role, but a few will not accept Supporting roles. Examples of the latter: Kevin Bacon, Bryan Cranston, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, Matthew Perry, James Spader and many more.
The last factor will be the Willingness Rating that each talent has. As you have all seen, each talent has a WR from 0 to 100.
These three factors combined will determine whether they accept or decline an offer.

Here’s how this works:
Let’s say the Talent wants to participate on a TV project and agrees to the role we are offering him/her, we have to move on to the third part. I have a simple app that throws random numbers from 0 to 100. If the talent has a WR of 30, then for that talent to accept the offer we’ll need a random number to be 30 or less. If the number is over 30, the talent will decline the offer. We have 2 more tries. If you were not lucky and you didn’t get 30 or less in the other 2 tries, you can still offer the same role to the same talent but you will need to raise the offer, this means that you will have to offer the next salary on the salary scale (and every time that you raise a talent’s salary you get 10 extra points in the WR). You can do this as many times as you like, but in the end it could get very expensive!
On the other hand, if the Talent is not willing to do a TV series, he/she won’t accept the offer no matter how much money you are willing to pay.

Let’s put an example so you can all understand better how the process works:
Say we want Ellen Pompeo for our drama series. She has a WR of 16 and a salary of $350,000. She is willing to do TV, so the first part is done. Now let’s move on to the random number. First try, I get 41…not good. Second try, I get 87, still not good. I try for the third time…and I get 55. Now, it’s time to raise her salary to $375,000 (the next salary on the scale), and her WR goes up to 26. Random number: 31…close, but still not good enough. I really want her for the role so I decide to give her one last chance: $400,000 and her WR goes up to 36. Let’s roll the dice…and its 23! Great! I locked Ellen Pompeo for my drama series, but it’s an expensive one!

Process for casting your Miniseries/Made for TV Movies:
The only thing that changes when casting a miniseries or TV Movie is the first factor.  The concept is the same, if the talent is willing or not to do TV.
Actors / Actresses: if they have a “YES” to star in a Regular Series, then consider that they are willing to star on a miniseries or TV Movie. If they have a “NO”, then we will need to further review their recent TV work to determine if they would be willing to consider participating on your project or not.  If during the past two years the acting talent had a role on a miniseries or TV movie, then he/she will accept the offer.  If not, then the answer is no. A good example is Al Pacino, he has a “NO” to be a regular on a TV series, but he starred on a TV movie in 2013.  In this case, he would say yes.
Executive Producers, Directors and Writers: if they have “YES” in their “produce a series” column, then again, they will be willing to produce your mini-series or TV Movie. And if they have “NO” process follows same as with acting talents.
After this first part has been determined, the same process (willingness rating, random numbers) follows.

I know this can seem complicated and overwhelming, but believe me it’s not.  After a few readings and some examples you will know exactly how the process works.

If you have questions or comments regarding any aspect of this process, please post them in the Help Forum or email me at admin@tvsimgame.com.