Jun 23

What Is Episodic Season? (Showbiz Term of the Day)

Episodic Season (Showbiz Term of the Day)

One of the major casting and filming seasons of the year in the entertainment industry is episodic season.  The other is pilot season (see “When Is Pilot Season in Los Angeles?” and “What Is Pilot Season? (Showbiz Term of the Day)” for more on pilot season).

The peak of episodic season tends to run from August until November each year. It is probably more likely that a new actor will get called into an audition and/or book a job during episodic season than it is during pilot season. Yet, fewer people flock to Los Angeles and New York during episodic season than during pilot season.

My daughter’s first season in Los Angeles was actually episodic season since we arrived in L. A. during the summer. She had quite a few auditions during her first fall in Los Angeles, some for movies and some for television.

I remember one of my daughter’s first auditions in Los Angeles was for a role on That 70’s Show.  It was just maybe three or four lines. She did not book the job, but it was very exciting just to be able to audition for it!

Episodic Season” is today’s Showbiz Term of the Day.

So, in case you are wondering, “What Is Episodic Season?” — keep reading to find the answer.

Episodic season is the time of year that the episodes of many television shows are being cast and filmed.  The major roles and some smaller roles were probably already cast and filmed during pilot season. Occasionally, some of those roles will be recast. But primarily, now the casting directors have to find actors to be in all the episodes for the upcoming television season.

Some of these roles will be fairly big roles and some will be very small roles.  Often these roles have to be cast and filmed very quickly. There will be a large number of auditions for smaller roles of maybe even just a few lines to a couple of lines or even just  a single line.

It may be easier to book a small role like this than it is to book a lead role in a television series. Since many of the bigger actors are busy with the lead roles, it opens up spots for some less well-known and experienced actors to book jobs.

The whole casting and filming process for television episodes tends to move very quickly. The casting director often has only a short time to audition and cast a number of parts in an episode. The auditions and casting for an entire episode may occur over just a couple of weeks. The filming often starts the next week or in two weeks and sometimes even within just a day or two after casting is complete.

Especially for small children’s roles, you may be notified of an audition that occurs the next day.  Your child may have a callback that same day and be notified later on that day that he or she has booked the role. Filming might then start as early as two days later, though it often is a little longer than that.

Episodic season is a good time of year to be in Los Angeles if you are hoping to book a television role for the following two reasons:

  1. There are often many small roles being cast within a short period of time.
  2. There is also much less competition in Los Angeles during episodic season than during pilot season.

These smaller roles may not seem like much, but they are the stepping stones that allow many actors to progress to the leading and series-regular roles. They also will look great on your resume.

With all the different networks and different program schedules, just as pilots sometimes film at other times than during the traditional pilot season, television episodes are also filmed at times other than just the traditional episodic season. While the largest volume of episodic casting is in the fall, there are opportunities throughout the year for episodic auditions and bookings.

For more on this and many other topics related to show business, sign up for the Young Actors Newsletter using the form on the right side of the screen.

To your success,

Debbie Sikkema



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  1. Breonia

    Why is everything in CALIFORNIA i mean i live in FLORIDA and we hardly ever get auditions. I wouldn’t be able to fly to LOS ANGELES for an audition i would probably ever get a part for.!!!!! 🙁 😥 😡

  2. breniah

    hi i’m Breniah i live i Florida and i have heart and soul an you should book me for and audition with shake it up because i can pop lock and anything you tell me this is my dream which means i wont stop until i succeed

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