Failed Pilots Playhouse
The proud home of that which never went anywhere else
Loosely based on a fever-dream notion by David Tabb (Thanks, Dave!)
No, this page is not dedicated to Amelia Earhart and "Wrong Way" Corrigan. It's the failed pilots of television that we celebrate here -- samples of proposed series that somehow never earned a spot on the schedule.
Why celebrate these failed pilots? Just because they didn't get rewarded with a network spot doesn't mean they were bad; some of them were actually very good, and probably would have made excellent series. (In fact, Star Trek and Forever Knight are examples of series whose pilots were considered failures at first, yet went on to become series with extensive fanbases.)
Then again, some were undeniably bad. And as any fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 can tell you, the very bad indeed can have its own special charm.
Finally, this page could potentially be a resource for authors of fan-fiction. To have all the information given to the audience about the series, and yet not have the series itself to compete with -- wonderful! Isn't the failed pilot great for that very reason? You can imagine how great the series that followed would have been, and the series itself never shows up to disappoint you.
There are already entries for the following pilots:
- Time Travelers, a 1976 joint effort between Irwin Allen
(Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants, among others) and Rod Serling (Twilight Zone and Night Gallery, among others.)
Some of the pilots we are hoping to gather information for:
Spectre, a pilot by Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) about a pair of criminologists who now investigate the supernatural. We now have a video copy of this movie, and hope to have a complete entry in the Playhouse soon!
The Clone Master, a failed pilot starring Art Hindle as a scientist who creates duplicates of himself... duplicates to whom he turns out to be psychically linked.
Agent for HARM, a rather cheesy offering from the 1960's about the adventures of smug secret agent Adam Chance. Though this was the pilot for a TV series, they felt it was so good that they decided to release it theatrically. I don't know what they were thinking.
Assignment: Earth, an episode of Star Trek setting up the adventures of a space/time-travelling 'secret agent,' Gary Seven.
Any of a number of pilots seen as episodes of Murder, She Wrote, nominally tied in with the heroine of the series, Jessica Fletcher. (They were generally people she knew, or sometimes her own fictional characters. That would have been an interesting spinoff, and to my knowledge, it hasn't been done before on TV -- a TV character's fictional creation being made into a series itself.)
If you can provide information on any of these pilots, or others not listed here, please mail the page maintainer.
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