Pitch‘s well-received yet lightly watched freshman run was a hot topic at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday.
As previously reported, Fox Television Group CEO Gary Newman said during the executive session, “We were very proud of Pitch…. I don’t think the performance level enabled us to make an early decision about it, but as we get to May, we’re certainly going to consider it.”
In the name of adding to what Newman called the baseball drama’s “loyal core” audience, the exec was asked if Season 1 might get a replay on the MLB Network — especially since Major League Baseball has been an active partner in the series, allowing unprecedented access to stadiums and assets.
“I don’t believe there have been discussions about that,” Newman told reporters. “My recollection is we replayed the pilot, maybe on Fox Sports, but I don’t believe it was ever pitched to us to have the show on Major League Baseball [Network].
“We certainly would be open to it, but I can’t guarantee it,” he added. “We have rights holders and profit participants and we always want to do what’s in the interest of them, but I think [MLB Network] is the perfect place to expose the show to the audience. I will look into that.”
In that same spirit of seemingly organic cross-promotion, TVLine asked Newman if Fox could have done a better job of pitching Pitch to viewers of its extremely well-watched World Series coverage. (Fellow freshman Lethal Weapon instead seemed to get the lion’s share of in-game touts.)
“Look, we have a lot of priorities,” Newman conceded. “We were not only trying to build our fall shows, but [the World Series] was… where we began our launch of Star and The Mick.
“We gave Pitch a fair amount of promotion there,” Newman continued, citing camera shots of series stars Kylie Bunbury and Mark-Paul Gosselaar sitting in the stands.
“We really adored Pitch,” Newman asserted. “I’m kind of a sports fanatic, so this was a bit of a dream show for me.”
Averaging a 0.8 demo rating across its short freshman run, Pitch was Fox’s No. 5-rated drama this fall, tying Rosewood and besting The Exorcist and Scream Queens.