Viable novelty market for failed TV pilots with net streaming allowing low cost transmission?

Just a thought.

You always hear how there are gazillions of failed or non-green lighted TV pilots for every show that’s approved. I know a lot of failed shows aren’t that great but in a “so bad it’s good” novelty way they might provide some amusement with a show featuring a selection of these failed/non-approved pilots with possibly MS3TK commentary as they play.

There’s a lot of content sitting there to be mined and net streaming (in theory) allows very low cost distribution. Could it be entertaining? Who owns these pilots? Would licensing be nightmare?

O.K., first, let’s get straight the number of pilots that are made each year. Every year network executives at each of the five networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and CW) listen to about 500 pitches (i.e., a short session where the creator of a proposed series explains what it would be like) for each network. Of those 500 or so for each network, about 70 scripts for the pilot of the series is made for each network. Of those 70 or so for that network, 20 pilot episodes are made for that network. For that network, 5 to 12 of them make it to the network’s schedule. So about 100 pilots are made each year, but 25 to 60 of them aren’t failed because they become (at least briefly) series. So there are on average probably something like 60 to 70 failed pilots each year:

This website talks about some reasons why networks are reluctant to release failed pilots.

Thank you for the article it answered almost all those questions.

Is there an audience? Kind of yes.
In Los Angeles there used to be a fairly regular showing of failed pilots in small theaters/cabarets.
I got to see the pilot for Heat Vision and Jack (an 80s adventure series parody starring Jack Black and Owen Wilson as the talking motorcycle) and a standalone version of Robert Smigel’s TV Funhouse.

I think the problem is that there’s no money to be made from it.

It’s the sort of thing that could (and probably does) exist as a Roku channel. There are thousands of the things.

Amazon already sort of does this with its pilots. Now and then they put them out a bunch of them on Amazon Prime Video for free and ask viewers for feedback. Some of those then get made into regular series. I suppose there are a few pilots they make that are so awful that they avoid the embarrassment of putting those on-line.

Heat Vision and Jack was made in 1999, not in the 1980’s.

I’d also like a dedicated channel that shows nothing but pilots of shows that went on and became popular. It’s kind of fun to catch one of these and see how the characters were introduced, knowing how they would turn out, for better or worse. I’d watch a ton of those.

It was made in '99, but it was nevertheless an 80s adventure series parody. That is, a parody of 80s adventure series.

Back in the late 60s and early 70s, there was this weekly anthology tv program called “Love, American Style”. It was a graveyard for failed pilots. I think the only resurrection from there was “Happy Days”, but that was only after “American Graffiti” was a box office hit.

There was also the animated show “Wait till your father gets home” which may have been linked to the generational gap of “All in the Family” when it became popular.