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  #51  
Old 03-08-2020, 04:08 PM
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Fox rejected the pilot for Heat Vision and Jack, which featured Jack Black as a super-intelligent former astronaut and Owen Wilson as the voice of his motorcycle.
The important part here is that the character Jack Black plays is only the smartest man on earth while the sun is up. He's kind of a dope at night. And Ron Silver plays himself, revealing that he's an actor by day, and a NASA assassin at night.
  #52  
Old 03-08-2020, 04:25 PM
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I would like to have seen a Doc Savage series. At one point, Chuck Connors was being considered for the role. Sadly, we had to settle for Ron Ely. (I like Ely, but he is not in the same league. Connors would have been awesome!)

The pilot got a theatrical release, but you can tell that it was intended for TV. There are a couple of abrupt scene changes that are jarring in the theater, but would have worked fine around a commercial break.

I think they were hoping for a Saturday morning time slot. The pilot has a bigger budget than most live-action kids' shows of the era, but it has the same general aesthetic.
I think I saw this on back in the '70s, on late-night TV. I remember it started out with Doc literally ducking a rifle bullet while chasing a bad guy. (All he had to do was shift his shoulder to the right slightly. Didn't even bat an eyelash.)
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  #53  
Old 03-08-2020, 07:08 PM
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Before Sliders George RR Martin wrote a pilot for a show called Doorways about people jumping from parallel world to parallel world looking for home.

The first episode was about a world where a bacteria designed to clean up oil spills eats all of the petroleum in the world. You can find it on YouTube and they did a comic adaptation of it. It's not bad. I would have liked to see an alternate history show that took the premise a little more seriously than Sliders did.

Last edited by Quimby; 03-08-2020 at 07:09 PM.
  #54  
Old 03-09-2020, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker View Post
On January 21, 1978, a pilot for a new series aired. Once. And never saw the light of day again. But for those of us who saw it. . . Oh, we never forgot it.

But none of us could remember the name!

A couple of decades ago, a website sprang up called "IMDb," which had a message board forum for most of its life before they decided to pull the plug a few years ago. (A scaled down version of it still exists at moviechat.org, though.)

Anyway. . . one of the forums was called "I Need to Know," in which you could post a question about some fragmentary memory of a movie you had seen, and the movie/TV history buffs could weigh in on what it probably was.

One question surfaced every few months (paraphrasing):

Everyone remembered it, but no one could remember the title. This went on for a couple of years until. . . someone actually dug it up.

Respectfully submitted for your approval, the episode "Monster" from a series that was not picked up. . . The World Beyond, featuring a youthful JoBeth Williams.
OMG I saw this as a little kid and yes, never forgot it. What is it about that show? I recall: Well dressed protagonist, gloomy, dread-filled atmosphere, and a scene showing the "birthplace" of a mud monster, a creepy, man-shaped depression in the earth where mud had been removed. Pretty scary, and I was 8 years old. Thanks for the memory!

Last edited by Limmin; 03-09-2020 at 11:22 AM.
  #55  
Old 03-09-2020, 01:46 PM
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There were a couple of specials on CBS and ABC, in 1996 and 2004 respectively, dedicated to unsold pilots. A good place to start for those interested in the topic.

The Greatest Shows You Never Saw
Best TV Shows That Never Were
Also, both CBS and ABC at some point (I think late 1970s for ABC, and early 1980s for CBS) dedicated a half-hour summer time slot to unsold pilots, although ABC's version also included burn-offs of at least one of its cancelled sitcoms (The Nancy Walker Show). Note that I am not referring to the 1985 CBS series George Burns Comedy Week, which had one of its stories turned into a series; I don't think that very many of those shows were intended as pilots.

Two unsold pilots come to mind:

Kelly's Kids - a backdoor from The Brady Bunch, with Ken Berry as a father who wants to adopt a child but, after determining that the Bradys' secret is, "There's always another kid around," end up adopting three; one of the kids would later return to TV as Mousketeer "Pop" on The New Mickey Mouse Club (the version that included a pre-The Facts of Life Lisa Whelchel).

Dear Diary - an unsold HBO pilot with Bebe Neuwirth; because HBO never aired it, the producers decided to show it in a movie theater for a week and submit it in the Live Action Short category at the Oscars, where it won, prompting what I call the Dear Diary Rule - TV pilots and episodes of existing TV shows can no longer be entered in the category.
  #56  
Old 03-09-2020, 03:13 PM
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I'll mention the sitcom "Dads", a 1997 pilot that I'm not aware ever made the airwaves but found a second life on self-erasing, single-play VHS tapes sent out by a marketing company for a decade afterwards.

I got scammed into watching this tape. They claimed that they were soliciting feedback for a new show, but they really only tricking you into answering questions about the commercials included at the end. I'm guessing they used this show because it was bland and inoffensive, and Rue McClanahan's name recognition would make it seem legit.
  #57  
Old 03-09-2020, 04:08 PM
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There was a pilot for a Wonder woman show like 5 years ago starring Adrianne palicki. They filmed the pilot but it never aired. You can find the pilot out there if you're so inclined. It was not good IMHO.

Last edited by Ashtura; 03-09-2020 at 04:08 PM.
  #58  
Old 03-09-2020, 06:13 PM
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All the mentions of Roddenberry failed pilots, and nobody cited the biggest of all? The original pilot for Star Trek was different in many ways. An almost entirely different cast and characters, and the personality of Spock was very different. It would have been a totally different show if it had gone ahead, and probably totally forgotten today. Maybe too obvious to mention.
  #59  
Old 03-09-2020, 08:13 PM
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A 1994 episode of Matlock titled "The P.I." was a backdoor pilot for a show with George Peppard and Tracy Nelson. However, Peppard's died months later so the show never was made.
  #60  
Old 03-09-2020, 09:24 PM
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The WB

The WB had a couple that they released the pilots as TV movies instead of giving them a series order as intended.

The Lone Ranger starring Chad Michael Murray

Aquaman starring Justin Hartley

NBC

Mockingbird Lane though the less said about this one the better.

Fox

Before it was a NetFlix show, Locke and Key had an aired pilot on Fox. It was pretty good.
  #61  
Old 03-09-2020, 10:27 PM
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NBC

Mockingbird Lane though the less said about this one the better.
That reminds me, The Mini Munsters.

"This movie was created with hopes of developing an animated spin-off of the original Munsters series[2], but it was not picked up as a series. "
  #62  
Old 03-10-2020, 05:24 AM
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W*A*L*T*E*R was a proposed M*A*S*H spinoff where Radar had decided to sell the farm and move to St. Louis to become a police officer. He tries to kill himself but is talked out of it by Victoria Jackson. Yes, really.

CBS burned this off in the summer of 1984, and it didn't air on the west coast due to coverage of the DNC in San Francisco. Remember that AfterMASH will still on the air at the time, so CBS thought they could go to that well again.

---

The producers of The Office attempted to spinoff Dwight, but NBC didn't pick it up. Making lemonade out of lemons, the pilot was reworked into the Season 9 episode The Farm.

Last edited by AlTraina; 03-10-2020 at 05:28 AM.
  #63  
Old 03-10-2020, 06:14 AM
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‘The Bakery’ was going to be a cop show, circa 1989, about a Southern California police station that was, temporarily, located in a converted bakery.

The gimmick was, they’d start looking into a crime and learn it had links to a case from back in the ‘60s — which another set of cops (who’d, uh, just started working out of a converted bakery) had investigated; so we’d then watch the ‘60s cops for a while, all vintage clothes and antique cars, as they do a decent job back when but leave a couple of loose ends — which is why we then watch the ‘89-era cops maybe finally solve that case, while making some progress on their own.

But you can bet that (a) they’ll end up leaving some loose ends that far-off future cops in 2001 will investigate, even while (b) 21st-century cops keep getting assured that, oh, hey, this whole converted-bakery arrangement is just temporary.
  #64  
Old 03-10-2020, 11:19 PM
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There was one Babylon 5 spinoff that got a single season and then was cancelled (Crusade), and a pilot for another series Legends of the Rangers that actually fits this thread. I don't think either of them were up to the level of the original series. Crusade had a weird 'lets make a D&D party' vibe going on, complete with retconning a Thief's Guild into the station just because. Legend of the Rangers seemed to be an OK concept, but I think the utterly baffling decision to make space combat into 3d hovering virtual reality kung fu just tanked it completely. If that phrase sounds nonsensical to you, watch a clip of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZapAjjTDbh4
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Old 03-11-2020, 01:32 AM
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I presume the Get Smart movie was something of a pilot for a new series. I would have watched it.
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  #66  
Old 03-11-2020, 02:25 AM
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I presume the Get Smart movie was something of a pilot for a new series. I would have watched it.
I don't see how. Steve Carell and Ann Hathaway are movie stars.
  #67  
Old 03-11-2020, 03:05 AM
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There was a made-for-TV movie adapted from the Marvel comic book series 'Generation X' which was an X-Men spinoff. I believe they'd hoped to follow the movie up with an ongoing tv series but it was so poorly received they scrapped those plans.
  #68  
Old 03-12-2020, 02:43 PM
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Respectfully submitted for your perusal, possibly the only evidence for Paul Williams as 'Marvin the Martian'. (And this has nothing to do with the WB character.) This came from the book on unsold pilots.
  #69  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:42 PM
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There was a pilot for a Wonder woman show like 5 years ago starring Adrianne palicki. They filmed the pilot but it never aired. You can find the pilot out there if you're so inclined. It was not good IMHO.
A year before the Lynda Carter version, there was a pilot with Cathy Lee Crosby as Wonder Woman, and Ricardo Montalban as the villain. It bears little resemblance to the classic comics--she's blonde, her costume is quite modest, and there is little to indicate any super-powers--but it's not much worse than the Lynda Carter series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Woman_(1974_film)

Last edited by mbh; 03-12-2020 at 04:42 PM.
  #70  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:43 PM
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Before Lynda and Cathy Lee, there was this short pilot from 1967, brought to you by the producers of Batman and The Green Hornet (who else?):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tKZJVhn7M4
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  #71  
Old 03-23-2020, 09:46 AM
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Look what just popped up in my Facebook feed: Alan Alda adopting an invisible baby from outer space, Dwayne Hickman as a Manhattan lawyer with a 140-year-old client, Dwayne's younger brother Darryl starring in a live action Flintstones...
  #72  
Old 03-23-2020, 01:01 PM
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What a wonderful time-waster this site is. I had completely forgotten that Majel Barrett was Lumpy Rutherford's mom on Leave It to Beaver!

Oh, well. Back to work.... *Sigh!"
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  #73  
Old 03-23-2020, 01:59 PM
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As someone else said, it was Assignment Earth, but it was not the final TOS episode. That (dis)honor went to Turnabout Intruder, when Kirk had his body swapped with his old lover and she wanted the Enterprise.
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  #74  
Old 03-23-2020, 02:02 PM
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I actually watched We'll Take Manhattan. It was incredibly awful. I think the only reason I watched it was because it starred Dobie Gillis.
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  #75  
Old 03-23-2020, 07:33 PM
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One thing I think some people don't realize is how many TV shows never make it past the pilot. Even getting a network to greenlight a pilot for your show is a major accomplishment, as sometimes, a show will be scrapped before it even gets to air, or never makes it past production For every show that gets picked up, many more shows don't even get past the pitch.

So, let's have a thread discussing shows that didn't make it past their pilot episodes, and faded into obscurity.

There was going to be an animated Buffy series called, appropriately enough, Buffy: The Animated Series. Unfortunately, it never got to air.
Are you thinking Buffy, Season 8? Because that kinda almost happened.
  #76  
Old 03-23-2020, 08:27 PM
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No, an actual Buffy animated series.

Here's the pilot. 3m35s long.
  #77  
Old 03-23-2020, 09:44 PM
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I doubt any amount of polishing could make this 1967 turd from Irwin Allen shine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wmjtkYWk6A
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  #78  
Old 03-24-2020, 08:18 PM
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I doubt any amount of polishing could make this 1967 turd from Irwin Allen shine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wmjtkYWk6A
I'm not sure. Add Patrick Troughton and you might have a passable Doctor story for that era.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 03-24-2020 at 08:18 PM.
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