This Is a Hard Post to Write
So January is the beginning of what — in the accursed, eternally burning nation of TV-land — is known as pilot season. That’s when the networks pick some of the series they have in development and greenlight them, meaning they’re actually going to cast and film a pilot episode.
It’s an exciting time. Except if your series doesn’t get greenlit.
The Magicians show was not greenlit.
This is a hard post to write. I’m really, really disappointed. I also feel bad that I got everybody excited about the project, only to have it immediately fail. I promise you — and I can’t stress this enough — I wouldn’t have done that unless I had some very good reasons to think that the show would in fact be greenlit. In fact I’m pretty stunned that it wasn’t.
I guess those reasons weren’t ironclad. Or maybe they were ironclad but not, I don’t know, adamantium-clad.
At any rate, clearly there was an issue with the cladding.
I don’t have a lot of good information as to why it didn’t happen. I don’t deal with network directly, and even beyond that the networks are pretty black-box about stuff like this: they don’t give out a lot of detail about their decision-making process. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that it has something to do with Terra Nova not doing as well as Fox hoped, so they weren’t anxious to go for another high-profile, high-concept, expensive genre show.
But that’s just speculation. I can’t imagine The Magicians would have been as expensive as Terra Nova. For one thing there aren’t half as many acceraptors in it.
From here the way forward for the show gets rockier, obviously. We’re going to take the script to cable networks. We’re also going to renew talks on the feature-film side. I can’t say I’m bitter about it. I wouldn’t have played my cards differently — we got exactly the right people and exactly the right script. It would have been incredible. It still will be, if we can get it to go somewhere else.
But no question, it’s a big disappointment. We had a really good shot this time, and it didn’t work out.