Test Pilot: Announcing the Test Pilot schedule through the end of 2011

Just as I did for #TVFail, I have decided to bash out the Test Pilot schedule through the end of this calendar year. I tend to let these things get ahead of me even though I have it all planned it out in my head. Test Pilot is particularly tricky because I need a guest writer to help me out and it seems like I’m always staggering around a few days before with hopes I’ll find someone. So this more planned attack will both help my psyche and present a makeshift open call for those of you who might be interested in helping me out on a post. I often catch people at bad times schedule-wise, so seeing what’s coming down the pike over the next 18 weeks or so will hopefully give those of you I’ve been nagging to join me plan some more. PLEASE, if you’re even remotely interested in writing about these pilots, let me know via email (barkerc65@gmail.com) or Twitter. I like keeping the veteran/newbie dynamic involved, but it’s not always necessary or possible, especially with some older series. So don’t let that keep you from contacting me.

A few housekeeping things. First of all, I’ll link to this post on the main Test Pilot page, so it will be there for all future reference. Secondly, I’ll explain the thinking behind the two new themes further when they come around, but I will briefly summarize them below. I’m really excited about how 2011 will conclude for Test Pilot. I hope you are too.

Theme 5: The Work of MTM Enterprises

This theme is almost over. No real need to explain it.

File #20: Remington Steele (8/3/2011) with Paul Rodriguez

Theme 6: The Outstanding Drama Series Category, 1991

Obviously, this fall’s Emmy Awards are 20 years removed from the 1991 ceremony. There isn’t anything particularly “special” about the 1991 Emmys, but the five series making up the Outstanding Drama Series category piqued my interest. Hopefully taking a look at the kind of programs that the Emmy voters considered “quality” 20 years ago will shine an interesting light on how the industry and the Emmys have changed — and how they haven’t.

File #21: thirtysomething (8/17/2011)

File #22: Northern Exposure (8/31/2011) with Karen VanArendonk

File #23: China Beach (9/14/2011) with Chris Becker

File #24: Quantum Leap (9/28/2011) with Noel Kirkpatrick

File #25: L.A. Law (10/12/2011)

Theme 7: HBO’s “Failures” 

We return to our network-oriented theme approach with a look at HBO. More specifically, I want to take a gander at the series that didn’t survive too long, despite HBO’s grand brand equity in the post-Sopranos era. Are these series creative failures? Why didn’t they catch on with audiences? Are those things one in the same? Everyone talks about the HBO successes, let’s mix it up.

File #26: K Street (10/26/2011)

File #27: Carnivàle (11/9/2011) with Jeremy Mongeau

File #28: The Comeback (11/23/2011)

File #29: Lucky Louie (12/07/2011) with Les Chappell

File #30: John From Cincinnati (12/21/2011) with Jamiesen Borak


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