Pilot Deal Guide: Key Terms for Development Season Deals

Key Terms for Development Season Deals

As we head into network development season, the Guild has prepared information on key pilot deal terms for Guild members and their representatives for reference when making deals.

Pilot Compensation Terms

Almost 1,000 Guild members provided information about pilot deals in the Guild’s 2018 survey. Adjusting that information to reflect the annual minimum increases in the MBA, the tables below provide key compensation terms, including pilot script fees, pilot producing fees, episodic fees in the event the pilot is picked up to series, and series sales bonus terms, for all half-hour and one-hour pilot deals.

Half-Hour Pilots
Median Maximum Reported
Pilot Script $ 105,000 $ 525,250
Pilot Producing Fee $ 34,250 $ 84,000
Episodic Fee $ 31,500 $ 81,500
Series Sale Bonus $ 26,250 $ 68,250
One-Hour Pilots
Median Maximum Reported
Pilot Script $ 157,500 $ 709,250
Pilot Producing Fee $ 39,500 $ 105,000
Episodic Fee $ 36,750 $ 105,000
Series Sale Bonus $ 26,250 $ 63,000

Broadcast Network Pilots

Writers making broadcast network pilot deals should be aware that the medians for pilot scripts and producing fees are higher than those reported for all markets.

Broadcast Network Medians
Half-Hour Pilots One-Hour Pilots
Pilot Script $ 157,500 $ 202,250
Pilot Producing Fee $ 47,250 $ 42,000
Episodic Fee $ 42,000 $ 42,000
Series Sale Bonus $ 26,250 $ 26,250

When all agencies agree to provide the Guild with member contracts and data, as Verve and agencies signed to the Code of Conduct have done, we will be able to offer even more robust and complete information on development deal terms to members on an annual basis.

Need Help? Contact Us!

The Guild is here if you need help negotiating a deal or reviewing a contract. Contact WGAE General Counsel, Ann Burdick, at aburdick@wgaeast.org.

Don’t forget to submit your contracts.

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