Amazing Television Pilots (You Can’t See)

Jules: I think her biggest deal was she starred in a pilot.

Vincent: Pilot? What’s a pilot?

Jules: Well, you know the shows on TV?

Vincent: I don’t watch TV.

Jules: Yeah, but, you aware that there’s an invention called television, and on this invention they show shows, right?

Vincent: Yeah

Jules: Well, the way they picked shows is, they make one show- that shows called a pilot. Then they show that one show to people who pick shows, and on the strength of that one show, they decide if they want to make more shows. Some get chosenand become television shows. Some don’t, and become nothing. She starred in one of the ones that became nothing.

Let’s discuss some of the shows that share the same fate as Fox Force Five.


Beverly Hills Cop

In 2013, The Shield creator Shawn Ryan was attached as executive producer on a failed Beverly Hills Cop reboot with Brandon T. Jackson (Remember when he was super hot in Hollywood? What happened to that guy) and Eddie Murphy himself reprising his role from the original.

But apparently Murphy’s role was little more than a cameo which news quickly blew out of proportion.

“I was gonna be in the pilot, and they thought I should be recurring. I’m not gonna do Beverly Hills Cop on TV.”

He also gave a quick explanation on why it never got picked up:

“They had this little knob that you turn if you like it or you don’t like it. So when Axel shows up in the pilot, some people turned the knob so much, they broke it. So the network decided ‘if he isn’t recurring, then this isn’t gonna happen.’ So it didn’t happen.”

Test audiences loved his cameo so much, Hollywood quickly decided there should be a new Beverly Hills Cop film.

That was 5 years ago and unless the world pulled a Dallas on my ass and everything in the subsequent years has been a dream, there ain’t no Beverly Hills Cop movie.


Game of Thrones

Wait a minute, Tits and Dragons already exists, I hear you muttering. I know it exists ya fool but did you know that the original pilot has not been seen by anyone?

The pilot script leaked a few years back (HBO has a history of being a submarine made of screen doors) and besides alternate shooting locations, it had different actors cast in certain roles.

Tamzin Merchant originally played Daenerys Targaryen, Not Emilia Clarke.

Jennifer Ehle originally played Catelyn Stark, Not Michelle Fairley.

Ian McNeice originally played Illyrio Mopatis, Not Roger Allam.

There’s a handful of other minor supporting characters that were recast but the major change was the unclear exposition. Audiences had no idea that Jaimie and Cersei were brother and sister nor did they know Tyrion was their little brother.

The creators made a huge rewrite and remade the pilot from the ground up and the rest is history. And that’s the last time Game of Thrones would ever be controversial again.



Little information is known about the Michael Chabon pitched WW2 show other than the outline:

“The series would’ve followed a group of conmen and magicians who team up to use their powers of deception to take down Adolf Hitler during World War II.”

It was pitched as “Inglourious Basterds meets magic.”

I’m in. I’m sold.

It also had Darren Aronofsky attached to direct the pilot. How far along in shooting did he get before HBO pulled the plug is unclear but apparently they had enough to pitch it to FX, so I’m assuming they at least had a pilot.

HBO has some amazing shows and they make a lot of great decisions but man, this sounded awesome. They also turned down The Walking Dead. Ya done goofed.


Locke and Key

Joe Hill (It’s a law that every time he’s mentioned, you have to remind every one he’s Stephen King’s son. It’s the law) and artist Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke and Key has had a bumpy road to the screen, to say the least.

In 2010, Dimension Films acquired the film and television rights to Locke and Key, to eventually lose them to Dreamworks a couple of months later.

Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman got to work on a film adaptation and Spielberg jumped on board and then it became a television show instead.

In 2011, a pilot was shot for FOX and then nothing. They didn’t pick it up.

Cut to early 2017 and HULU decides it wants to throw their hats into this insane quagmire by announcing a new show based on the material.

Sinister director Scott Derickson was announced as the pilots director and now it seems like Mama and IT director Andy Muschietti is attached. I’m not saying I don’t think it’s going to happen but what I will say that’s it’s probably cursed and everyone should walk slowly away from it. Don’t make eye contact.


Black Market Music

In 2003, right off of the heels of Freaks and Geeks, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel pitched a show set in a record store with Jack Black co-starring.

And Judd Apatow producing

I joked about curses before but I honestly think the gods of television have cursed Apatow with the Bryan Fuller curse. No show he makes can go past a season and most of the things he wants to make will never get past the pilot. It’s a terrible curse. (But Hannibal made it past….shut your lips. I know but it was still prematurely canceled, so can it)

There’s not much else we can go on but the idea alone is fascinating. I wonder where Rogen and Segel’s careers would’ve ended up if it was made.

I don’t wanna live in a world without The Green Hornet, I’ll tell you that much.


How and Why

Charlie Kaufman.

If your a film lover, there’s certain names that should automatically put your ass in a seat and Kauffman’s should be at the top of the list. He’s the greatest screenwriter of the last 20 years and the fact that he was going to create a television show is literally mind blowing to me.

He’s worked in television before with scripts for Get a Life, The Dana Carvey Show and even Moral Orel but How and Why would’ve been his first foray into creating a show.

Starring John Hawkes as a nuclear reactor worker who understands the How and Why (Title Drop) a reactor works but is ultimately clueless about every other aspect in life.

Michael Cera, Sally Hawkins and Catherine Keener also Co-starred.

FX passed on the pilot, as did IFC.

But thank god we have The Big Bang Theory.

Here’s a little treat for those of you that are now depressed that The Big Bang Theory exists and these don’t:

Heat Vision and Jack was a television show with Jack Black and a talking motorcycle voiced by Owen Wilson and….what’s that? This never happened either? Fuck me.