Creating and producing a television show that makes it on the air is a difficult thing. Each season, thousands of pilots are written or “conceived,” in the case of unscripted reality programs and out of those thousands, a hundred may be ordered. Of those scripts, dozens are shot, sometimes costing around $2 million each. Of those dozens, only a handful are picked up and ordered to air.
Here are ten that made it to pilot, but will most likely never see the light of day.
“Wonder Woman” – 2011
Look, I’m still bitter about this one. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching the Linda Carter version from the ‘70s or maybe I just like the idea of a woman in hot pants flying around in an invisible jet with bulletproof bracelets and a lasso of truth. The pilot that NBC passed on last year had “Friday Night Lights” Adrienne Palicki, an actress ready for her own starring vehicle, and a much debated updated costume.
“Aquaman” – 2005
If you’ve ever watched “Smallville,” you most likely caught the season five episode “Aqua” which introduced Aquaman. The writers for “Smallville” realized they might have another hit on their hands, so they went ahead and wrote, produced and shot a pilot for “Aquaman,” starring Justin Hartley as the crime fighting Merman. Because the UPN and WB Networks (remember them?) merged into the CW, the pilot never got picked up.
“Community Service” – 2006
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Will Shepard (Jay Mohr), a prominent New York City real estate agent, loses everything and travels back to his hometown to find the only woman he’s ever really loved. While there, Will gets into an altercation with a police officer, who just happens to be the fiancée to he woman that he loves, and he’s sentenced to 500 hours of community service. He’s stuck in the town, trying to fulfill his service and win back the heart of the girl that he loves. Jay Mohr gets a pretty long leash in my book, but I’m not sure even he could have saved this one.
“Wildlife” – 2007
Executive produced by Conan O’Brien and ordered for development by NBC, “Wildlife” had a real shot to make it on the air. Taking place in an exotic wild-animal park, the real action focuses on the humans taking care of the animals who, in most cases, are better with animals then they are with humans.
“Ace in the Hole” – 2010
Executive produced by Jimmy Kimmel and starring his buddy, Adam Carolla, “Ace in the Hole” followed the adventures of Ace Morella, a husband, father and driving instructor. Yes, the idea seems a bit light, but the idea of foul-mouthed Carolla appearing on network television is kind of exciting, especially as a driving instructor. I can already see his barely contained rage right now as he has to tutor underage drivers in the art of driving and the art of life.
“American Housewife” – 2011
As executive producer of this pilot, Antonio Banderas is brought the story of the perfect housewife (Melanie Griffith) as she struggles with keeping up with her well-to-do neighbors while being constantly distracted by her inner voice. Sounds kind of Ally McBeal-ish, but honestly I would watch it just to see how Griffiths looks these days.
“Little in Common” – 2011
Originally slated to be part of Fox’s Tuesday night sitcom lineup, “Little in Common” followed the stories of characters played by Heather Graham and comedians Rob Cordrry and Kevin Hart as their diverse families become intertwined because their children play on sports teams together. I almost can’t believe that “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” got made and this one didn’t.
“Nashville” – 2009
The CW dropped the ball on this one. Tell me that you wouldn’t watch the story of a singer-songwriter who comes to Nashville and becomes embroiled in the super competitive music business. Oh yeah, and it would star Brad Paisley, Matt Bomer and our favorite girl, Connie Britton.
“Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” – 2011
This one’s been kicked around for about three years and may still see the light of day. The show stars Jayma Mays (“Glee,” “Ugly Betty”) as Angela, a bright and dedicated office worker, trying to move up the corporate ladder. When she realizes she’s too nice to get promoted, she teams up with someone to learn how to get ahead. This one has all the ingredients of a success: office culture, Oscar winner Brian Grazer producing, and a really long title.
“Tales from the Hoff” – 2007
Combine leading man David Hasselhoff and little producer Ryan Seacrest and you have an absolute power couple. Tales from the Hoff would follow the fictional trials and tribulations of an international icon in Hollywood as he enters the dating pool again. Even though they say it’s fictional, I’m sure every episode would be 100% true and it would be fascinating.
Which show do you most wish would’ve been made?