Variety writes about how broadcast nets are trying to be more thrifty, both due to the econony and changes to the broadcast network ratings landscape:
Network execs are sending a message to the industry: "We can't live the way we've lived in the past."
The old-style model of funding a pilot for $3 million-$10 million -- when it has only a 10% chance of survival -- can't be sustained much longer, they say. Ditto the hefty license fees for shows that are only performing so-so.
The penny-pinching trend, which started with reality fare, and continued with the Leno-in-primetime plan, is gaining steam on several other fronts as well.
International co-productions, which network chiefs would have never considered purchasing a few years ago, are suddenly in vogue, thanks to their thrifty sticker prices.