Test Pilot: File #57, The Unit

Test Pilot #57: The Unit  Debut date: March 7, 2006 Series legacy: Professionally made CBS procedural Hey party people. Welcome back to Test Pilot. Hopefully you've enjoy this theme thus far (if you haven't yet, please check out the files on Sleeper Cell and Over There). There are only four entries (as opposed to the now-fairly standard five) so we are … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #57, The Unit

Test Pilot: File #56, Over There

Test Pilot #56: Over There Debut date: July 27, 2005 Series legacy: A seemingly forgotten, only barely controversial look at soldiers’ lives in Iraq Welcome back to Test Pilot, friends and foes. We’re rolling through our latest theme on War on Terror television. Hopefully you enjoyed the piece on Sleeper Cell from last time. If … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #56, Over There

Test Pilot: File #54, The Vampire Diaries

Test Pilot #54: The Vampire Diaries Debut date: September 10, 2009 Series legacy: An exciting show that became so good it went from “criminally underrated” to properly celebrated in relatively short fashion First impressions mean a lot in television, and that’s why writers, producers, studios, networks, etc. put more time, effort and money into pilots … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #54, The Vampire Diaries

Test Pilot: File #53, Parks and Recreation

Test Pilot #53: Parks and Recreation Debut date: April 9, 2009 Series legacy: On the shortlist of great contemporary sitcoms First impressions mean a lot in television, and that’s why writers, producers, studios, networks, etc. put more time, effort and money into pilots than they do just about any other episode that could possibly be … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #53, Parks and Recreation

Test Pilot: File #52, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Test Pilot #52: Star Trek: The Next Generation Debut date: September 28, 1987 Series legacy: One of the most critically-acclaimed science fiction series in television history First impressions mean a lot in television, and that’s why writers, producers, studios, networks, etc. put more time, effort and money into pilots than they do just about any … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #52, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Test Pilot: File #50, The Bob Newhart Show

Test Pilot #50: The Bob Newhart Show Debut date: September 17, 1972 (series premiere); November 18, 1972 (this episode) Series legacy: A very popular and generally well-respected member of the MTM stable Number 50! Wow. Thanks to everyone who has co-wrote, read, RT’ed or commented on these pieces thus far. We have no intentions of … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #50, The Bob Newhart Show

Test Pilot: File #46, The Incredible Hulk

Test Pilot #46: The Incredible Hulk Debut date: November 4, 1977 Series legacy: A generally well-regarded adaptation Welcome friends, to the second Test Pilot Special Theme Week. We had such great success with the week devoted to Joss Whedon-produced series back at the first of the year that I thought it would be fun to take another … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #46, The Incredible Hulk

Test Pilot: File #43, Boomtown

Test Pilot #43: Boomtown Debut date: September 29, 2002 Series legacy: A well-respected but barely-watched entry into the police procedural genre Good afternoon! Hey there, party people. Welcome back to the internet’s most popular discussion of television pilots, Test Pilot. We’re still chugging our way through an exploration of the contemporary police procedural. Before you … Continue reading Test Pilot: File #43, Boomtown

Does a series’ ultimate failure negate a great pilot?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Awake pilot last night (or over the past few weeks, thanks to NBC releasing it online fairly early). If you haven’t read my review, please consider doing that. But amid all the beaming reviews and superlatives for Awake, big questions remain: Is it a series? Can the story be maintained … Continue reading Does a series’ ultimate failure negate a great pilot?