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12 Great TV Pilots That Were Never Picked Up

There are plenty of terrible television shows out there several seasons deep that just refuse to go away—I’m looking at you, The Big Bang Theory. There are also a long line of television shows that ha

There are plenty of terrible television shows out there several seasons deep that just refuse to go away—I’m looking at you, The Big Bang Theory. There are also a long line of television shows that have never seen the light of the day or were prematurely cancelled due to cold feet from the network or creative differences from writers and producers. It’s a shame, but plenty of solid shows have been discarded over minor hiccups or financial strain. It can also be a matter of targeting a wider audience, as some shows capture a niche market and never make a ton of money. It’s unfortunate, but often times simplifying comedy with overused laugh tracks is where the money is at… and that’s no good for genuinely funny but eccentric comedies.

Some of these shows could have turned out to be awful, while others could have well developed into classics. Perhaps network executives saw negative aspects behind the scenes that justify their decisions, or maybe not. Most of the time we don’t know the reasoning and we’re left wondering what could have been. All of the TV shows on this list could have been something special but for whatever reason never gained traction, whether it’s only getting a pilot episode or none at all.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 12 potentially great TV shows that were never picked up. Some of these shows sound so promising it was almost depressing to write this. Shame on you, television networks.

12 Little Brother, 2012

11 Susan 313, 2012

Via mashable.com

10 Entry Level, 2012

Via muppetmindset.wordpress.com

9 Hollyweird, 1998

Via dailymotion.com

8 The IT Crowd, 2007

Via warpedfactor.com

7 Day One, 2010

Via cancelledscifi.com

6 North Hollywood, 2001

Via latimes.com

North Hollywood had a stacked roster of stars: Colin Hanks, Kevin Hart, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen, and Amy Poehler. It was also written and directed by Judd Apatow, perhaps unsurprisingly given some of the names attached. Here’s the show’s summary courtesy of tv.com, which sounds like it could have been hilarious:

“Jason Segel works as a Frankenstein's Monster for an amusement park, Amy Poehler has a sideline as the personal assistant of a down and out Judge Reinhold, while Kevin Hart shares a house in North Hollywood. The lives of these struggling actors are unveiled as they attempt to advance their acting careers while keeping true to themselves and their ideals.”

5 The Right Now! Show, 2007

Via youtube.com

4 U.S.S. Alabama, 2007

Via zimbio.com

3 Boldly Going Nowhere, 2008

Via antennafree.tv

2 Living Loaded, 2012

Via deadline.com

1 Heat Vision & Jack, 1999

Via nowtoronto.com

Heat Vision & Jack was created by Dan Harmon, the mind behind Community, with Ben Stiller directing. The stars of the show were Jack Black and Owen Wilson. Black played an astronaut with advanced intelligence after he travelled too close to the sun, while Wilson voiced a motorcycle that used to be Black’s unemployed roommate before being hit by an experimental NASA ray. Yeah, let that sink in for a moment. The show incorporated sci-fi elements and was predictably ridiculous… it was also hilarious. If you don’t believe me, you can watch the pilot on YouTube for yourself. FOX really screwed up not greenlighting this one.

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12 Great TV Pilots That Were Never Picked Up