8 Failed TV Pilots You Need To See
Television shows come and go every single year. But just as many never get beyond a single episode, or if lucky, a television movie on Sunday afternoon. This time around we take a look at eight television pilots that were so bad, or strange, that a network never picked them up. Chances are you may have seen a few of these, but we really recommended tracking these down online, especially if you are in need of a really good laugh.
C3P-No and R2DPoop
The story, set in the far flung future of the twenty-second century, follows the adventures of the McCallister family, owners of McCallister's Midway Inn, a hotel-restaurant-saloon on an orbiting way station somewhere between Earth and Pluto. But the real reason for this pilot was to ride of the success of Star Wars. From the C3PO and R2D2 clones, to (insert every Star Wars character here), Starstruck
was probably tempting copyright fate. In the end the space comedy just didn't work and it diapered deep into a galaxy far far away.
Baffled! was a 1973 television movie that stared Leonard Nimoy and was intended as a pilot for a television series. The show is about famed race car driver Tom Kovack (Leonard "God damn"Nimoy) who suddenly begins to experience psychic visions after suffering a major crash during a race. He meets Michelle Brent, an expert on the paranormal, and the two form a team to solve all sorts of wacky mysteries. Kovack's visions draw them into an occult-themed mystery at a remote inn on the English coast. A weird idea staring the once logical Spock that just never took off.
Dr. Strange (1978)
Dr. Strange is a 1978 television film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, and was to serve as a vehicle for a full series. The TV movie features an evil entity telling Morgan le Fay that he has been prevented from breaking through to the earthly realm by a great wizard, and that she has three days either to defeat or kill the wizard and win over his successor to her master's side. The project had a large budget but the TV movie was a flop. Many cite the fact that this was due to being paired against the now legendary TV movie, Roots.
Beep Boob mother fucker.
Exo-Man might be familiar to many of you as being mistaken for the Iron Man of the 1970s, as tfootage from the show often gets lumped in along scenes of The Incredible Hulk and Thor movie for a 70s Avengers movie. In reality Exo-Man is the story of a professor, who has been paralyzed in an attack by mob hit men, and builds an armored suit that enables him to walk and fight crime. The TV was was actually quite successful for the time, but it's been stated that it never made it to series because the studio felt there was a lack of merchandising potential for it. I don't know about you, but I'd kill for an Exo-Man action figure.
Fart jokes galore.
Poochinski is a 1990 television pilot featuring a Chicago police detective (Peter Boyle), whose spirit is transferred into a flatulent English bulldog after he is killed in the line of duty. The canine detective then returns to solving crimes with his former partner and all sorts of hilarious adventures take place. Well, I assume they would have as the show wasn't picked up and was sort of boring, even with a talking dog. NBC passed on the show because of course they did, but the show lives on online as one of the most bizarre premises for a television show. Cocaine is bad for you, kids.
Heat Vision and Jack (1999)
An early Dan Harmon joint.
Heat Vision and Jack tells the tale astronaut who acquires increased intelligence during a mission when looking into direct sunlight. He also has a talking motorcycle the has the spirit of his unemployed roommate and must deal with a malevolent artificial life form that's possessing people and turning them into dust, as well as NASA's hitman and real life actor Ron Silver. The show was far ahead of its time and there are still rumblings of a movie being developed, with the show getting some love in some Tropic Thunder materials.
Wishman is the name for a genetic experiment that has been condemned to spend its life in the lab being tested on. A worker at the facility decides it deserves freedom, so he escape with it and hides it at home with his wife. They are chased by evil scientists who probably should keep this creepy looking monster under lock and key. I think they were going to an E.T. sort of thing, but ended up with more horror show than anything else. There is no doubt Wishman will haunt your nightmares and not picking it up to series saved many a kid a lifetime of counseling.
Justice League of America (1997)
Justice League of Meh.
The made for TV movie for a potential Justice League show centers on a female meteorologist who gains superpowers and is later inducted into the "Justice League," while the city of New Metro is held for ransom by a terrorist armed with a weather control device. Strangely the TV movie is interjected with strange mock-interviews of members of the Justice League, speaking about life as a superhero in a past tense. The characters were all B-list heroes (minus The Flash) as the rights were tied up in other projects. Oh, and it also featured a highly overweight Martian Manhunter. That said, it is probably the pilot on this entire list that had the best chance at making air, even if that's not saying much.