Saturday, January 31, 2015

Unaired TV pilots: Wonder Woman, Day One, Hieroglyph

As a fan of television entertainment, I keep track of new TV shows in the works and make note of the ones I’m interested in watching.
Often those shows never make it to broadcast and their pilots are never shown. I, for one, would like the chance to see them and judge for myself whether they’re any good. Judging from the schlock that networks see fit to air, those pilots must be pretty bad, at least in their opinion.
Entertainment Weekly recently ran a list of upcoming pilots commissioned by the major broadcast networks. EW seemed to share my interest in watching unaired pilots.
You’ll never see most of them … We’re still rooting for the big, traditional networks to put their pilots online, like Amazon, so we can properly judge them – rather than trusting network executives and mall focus groups to decide what gets on the air. (That’s how we end up with Bad Judge).
Amazon.com puts the pilots for its original shows online for viewers to judge. Those with the best response get full-season commitments for Amazon Prime Instant Video.
The broadcast networks usually bury their failed pilots. But some rejected TV pilots eventually do get shown.
Space action pilot “High Moon” was repackaged as a TV movie for Syfy last September, TV Guide reported.
The pilot for a TV show based on “Delirium,” a young adult novel set in a dystopian future where love is considered a disease, aired for one month on Hulu last summer, EW reported.

The pilot for a Sarah Silverman sitcom, “Susan 313,” that NBC rejected was posted on YouTube for a limited time for all to see in October 2013, Huffington Post reported.
The pilot for a high school comedy called “Not Another Teen Show” didn’t make it to TV. But an extended clip from the aborted Comedy Central show, which starred Jennifer Lawrence and Alison Brie, was posted to YouTube last August, E! Online and Entertainment Weekly reported.
What follows is a list of notable TV pilots that have yet to be aired.
In November, ABC canceled its straight-to-series pickup, midseason drama “Members Only,” starring John Stamos, before its premiere, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Last June, Fox pulled the plug on “Hieroglyph,” an ambitious drama set in ancient Egypt. Only the first episode was filmed. The network hoped the series would be its “Game of Thrones,” but it felt the stories planned for follow-on episodes weren’t very compelling. (See articles by the Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly.)
Last May, CBS decided not to go forward with the spin-off series to “How I Met Your Mother.” CBS said it was not satisfied with the pilot to “How I Met Your Dad” and canceled the project, Huffington Post reported.

In October 2013, Fox axed plans to air its previously announced 13-episode animated series “Murder Police,” which starred the voice talent of Wilmer Valderrama, Jane Lynch, Will Sasso and Chi McBride, EW reported.
In July 2013, HBO said it was unimaginable that a drama pilot featuring one of James Gandolfini’s final performances would air, EW reported. Gandolfini shot a pilot for “Criminal Justice,” but died in June 2013.
I’ve previously written about “Day One,” an alien-invasion show NBC nixed after filming the pilot in 2010. It would have been an early entry in the trend toward post-apocalyptic TV dramas.
In 2011, NBC canceled plans to air “Wonder Woman,” starring Adrianne Palicki as the DC Comics superhero. The show, produced by David E. Kelley, reportedly had script problems and costume issues, Screen Rant reported. The failed series proved to be a good stepping stone for Palicki, who now stars on “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.” (See photo at top.)

Related articles:

7 potentially awesome shows canceled before they premiered. (Entertainment Weekly; July 1, 2014)

10 High-Profile TV Pilots That Didn’t Get Picked Up (Mental Floss; June 17, 2013)

10 shocking pilot season rejects: Why they didn’t make it (Entertainment Weekly; May 14, 2013)

10 Promising Pilots the Networks Didn’t Pick Up This Year (Splitsider; May 17, 2012)

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