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FOX 'Hieroglyph' cancelled by new management, bad TV pilot? No creativity?

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Hieroglyph” (FOX) was the new Egyptian fantasy TV drama picked up by the network. The first episode was filmed at Albuquerque, N.M. When FOX unveiled the TV trailer during the network up-front presentations last spring (2014). It was not well received & that first episode wasn't screened for TV critics either.

It was scheduled to be a mid-season replacement show (2015). FOX by-passed a normal TV pilot & gave it a straight-to-series-order asking for 13 episodes. The network executives decided to cancel the TV show long before it was to premiere.

There was only one episode filmed & many called that the TV pilot. Several episodes had already been written too. The FOX executives claim that the show wasn't moving forward creatively the way they had hoped. Kevin Reilly who was the former FOX programming chief had given “Hieroglyph” the green light. FOX is now under new management & the show was axed.

The networks order TV pilot episodes each year for possible TV series for the coming season. Kevin decided that FOX would by-pass TV pilot season because of expensive production costs. The chief of programming hand picked & ordered a full TV series just by reading a proposed script. “Hieroglyph” was created by Travis Beacham.

Hieroglyph” was to be filmed entirely in the state of New Mexico. The tax incentives would bring the production costs down if filmed over a period of time. There were 13 episodes planned for this TV fantasy & they would only employ local crew & acting talent instead of hiring from out of state.

The networks are competing for TV audiences against cable & online internet platform shows. “Netflix” changed the game by ordering 26 TV episodes of “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey. It is paying off too with good internet TV ratings & Emmy award nominations. Kevin Reilly at FOX tried to jump on that band-wagon to get ahead of the competition. Unfortunately, his attempt had failed.

Many critics & TV fans question picking up a TV series just by reading a pilot script. It is very risky when that TV pilot is filmed & the product doesn't transfer well to the screen. FOX gave the synopsis of “Hierogylph” this way, “Centered on a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharaoh while navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers.”

Canceling a TV show before it premieres is becoming more apparent these days. NBC axed the new comedy “Next Caller” starring comedian Dane Cook. FOX also cancelled “Us & them” starring Jason Ritter before any TV audience saw it. “Hieroglyph” had only one episode shot & it will be shelved indefinitely, to be seen by no one.

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