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What’s Pilot Season, Hiatus and Episodic Season?

Q: What is a PILOT, and When is Pilot Season?

A pilot is one episode of a show that is ordered by the network as a test. They will cast it, produce it, test it with audiences and studio executives, and decide whether to pick it up as a regular series. That series will be shown in the fall. Casting for the test episodes used to be done in a frenzy during pilot season. You can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_Pilot

A traditional pilot season is the period of time between January and April (give or take a few weeks) when the studios create samples of new shows. Hiatus, when television production companies take a rest from working, normally takes place between May and June.  Episodic Season normally begins in the month of July, when the pilots that have been ordered episodes begin to cast and return to production.

Fortunately, cable has opened up many more opportunities for actors.  Unlike network television shows, cable (and internet) shows do not have standard seasons.  They can audition and film throughout a network hiatus, keeping actors busy all year round!

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Photo credit: johndaquino.com

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