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This paper studies the importance of the design and construction of the pilot episode in a TV series (that is, the first completely produced episode that reaches the audience in a broadcast). We work on the principle that, due to the structure of the Spanish TV market, no new television product stays on the air if, after four episodes, its share of audience is lower than the average rating of the channel. That is why, in the case of Spanish fiction TV series, achieving the audience's involvement and identification in the pilot episode becomes essential to guarantee, at least, its survival or make its success possible in the medium term. Therefore, the weight the creator or creators figure (the ones that must take the key narrative, esthetical and production decisions) gains in the production should not be surprising. Their task is, basically, the developing of the elements that confer quality on the pilot: the «tone», the «narrative structure», the «characters design» and the «distinguishing elements». As a practical case, our study proposes the analysis of the pilot episode of «Aida», as an example of a quality audiovisual production, as well as being the first Spanish spin off.
Television pilot, television market, share of audience
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