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7 showrunners reveal the challenges of selling a TV show now, from Zoom pitches to Hollywood's obsessions with vertical integration and IP

7 showrunners reveal the challenges of selling a TV show now, from Zoom pitches to Hollywood's obsessions with vertical integration and IP

"Ted Lasso" is one hit that bucked Hollywood's powerful trend toward vertical integration.
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We spoke to showrunners for our TV buyers' guide, who broke down what this pitching season looks like.




"Even IP has been tougher to crack," said one showrunner. "People just aren't buying."




Creating shows for streamers is hot right now, but broadcast TV still has its supporters.


With 500-plus scripted shows on the air and a growing universe of streaming services competing for programming, it's theoretically a plum time to be a TV creator. But the mad rush for IP, Hollywood's increasing vertical integration, and the pandemic don't add up to the most hospitable environment for selling new series. We spoke to seven showrunners for Insider's in-depth TV buyers' guide, and many highlighted the unique challenges - and benefits - of pitching to studios and streamers over the last 18 months.

The bigger the company, the tighter the vertical integration - and the fewer the opportunities

Where studios once produced shows for the highest bidders, vertical integration means that congloms like Disney, ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal now largely look to feed their own platforms' hungry maws first. Studio execs tend to dismiss talk of mandates to keep their programs in-house, and there've been hits that point to that, such as Warner Bros. TV's "Ted Lasso" landing on Apple TV+ instead of a WarnerMedia-owned streamer or network. But that doesn't jibe with some showrunners' recent experiences.
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