Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Best TV Pilots

This is my choice. It took off like a rocket. What else? (Sorry this was scheduled before the death of Gandolfini).


16 comments:

Anonymous said...

We were discussing it the other day: China Beach.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Really strong start and it kept it up largely.

George said...

I remember watching the pilot to THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and being blown away. But, I think I was 12 at the time.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It was terrific at the time. Unlike anything I had seen before. Same for Mission Impossible.

Todd Mason said...

You know, I was disappointed by the CHINA BEACH pilot...thought the series improved markedly as it went along.

One where I differ from a lot of folks' opinion is in liking THE SEINFELD CHRONICLES and the whole short first season much better than several of the later seasons.

Some series just start strong: HOMICIDE, ONCE AND AGAIN (RELATIVITY even moreso...though, of course, we didn't get to see how good or dull that one could get, as it was killed off so quickly), M*A*S*H. Others, not so much: ST. ELSEWHERE, VEEP, KIDNAPPED, BABYLON-5.

Todd Mason said...

Terrible series, surprisingly good pilot (at least, considering what followed): LOST IN SPACE.

Excellent telefilm, terrible series: THE NIGHT STALKER (and THE NIGHT STRANGLER, its first sequel).

Todd Mason said...

Most ridiculously uneven series:

ER (the dramatic series)(solid pilot)
CROSSING JORDAN
THE TWILIGHT ZONE (in all but the uniformly awful UPN version hosted by Forest Whitaker)

pattinase (abbott) said...

VEEP's second season is amazingly better than the first. I agree about SEINFELD. The last few years were not good. HOMICIDE, loved it but they had such great source material.

Charles Gramlich said...

Is that the Sopranos? I never caught an episode. My favorite pilot is going to be from Star Trek, of course.

Kent Morgan said...

geologyThe one I remember is Cheers, but then the idea of an ex-Boston Red Sox relief pitcher running a bar with the focus on the regulars really appealed to me. I think I watched almost every episode until Kristie Alley showed up.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Cheers' pilot was good immediately-I saw it recently.

Todd Mason said...

Sadly, great source material doesn't guarantee anything...recall not only THE NIGHT STALKER tv series but all the first-rate fiction rendered fair to middlin' (or worse) by NIGHT GALLERY, among other anthology series...you know, the more I think about it, more films have really botched their good literary sources than have television series based on such.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

Here's some lesser known choices.

Brooklyn South
The Black Donnely's
The Chicago Code

pattinase (abbott) said...

Not sure I saw any of those.

John said...

Hands down for me it's TWIN PEAKS.

Runners-up: NORTHERN EXPOSURE, PICKET FENCES

NIGHT GALLERY really did become one of the worst superntural anthology shows ever. But CIRCLE OF FEAR (aka GHOST STORY) is pretty much 80% dreck, too. I was so dispapointed when I ordered the DVD collection of that series and after re-watching all the episodes found so much of it to be boring. When I was a teen most of those shows spooked the hell out of me. Sometimes it's best to leave a memory a memory and not revisit the past.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You couldn't watch the first episode and not come back.