A television pilot is a test episode of an intended television series. A television program (US television programme (UK or television show (U It is an early step in the development of a television series, much like pilot lights or pilot studies serve as precursors to start of larger activity. A television program (US television programme (UK or television show (U A pilot light is a small Gas Flame, usually Natural gas or Liquefied petroleum gas, which is kept alight in order to serve as an ignition source Networks use pilots to discover whether an entertaining concept can be successfully realized. After seeing this sample of the proposed product, networks will then determine whether the expense of additional episodes is justified.  They are best thought of as prototypes of the show that is to follow, because elements often change from pilot to series. A prototype is an original type form or instance of something serving as a typical example basis or standard for other things of the same category Variety estimates that only a little over a quarter of all pilots made for American television succeed to the series stage, although the figure may be even lower. Variety is a weekly entertainment trade newspaper founded in New York in 1905 by Sime Silverman 
As distinguished from "first episode"
There is somewhat of a divergence between the way the television industry uses the term, and the way that viewers do. Viewers frequently consider the pilot to be the first episode available for their consumption. They therefore assume that the episode which comes first in broadcast order is also the episode which sold the series to the network. For instance, the episode Invasion of the Bane was not a pilot for The Sarah Jane Adventures because the BBC had in fact committed to the entire first season prior to seeing any filmed content—yet it is routinely referred to as a pilot. "Invasion of the Bane" is the first episode of the British Science fiction television series The Sarah Jane Adventures. The Sarah Jane Adventures is a British Science fiction Television series produced by BBC Wales for CBBC, created 
Sometimes, too, viewers will assign the word "pilot" to a work that represented the first appearances of characters and situations later employed by a series—even if the work was not initially intended as a pilot for the series. A good example of this is Love and the Happy Days, an episode of Love, American Style which featured a version of the Cunningham family. Love American Style is an hour-long television Anthology which was produced by Paramount Television and originally aired between September It was in fact a failed pilot for the proposed 1972 series, "New Family in Town", not a successful pilot for 1974's Happy Days. Happy Days is an American Television sitcom that originally aired from 1974 to 1984 on ABC.  So firmly embedded is the notion of it as a Happy Days pilot, however, that even series actor Erin Moran views it as such, as well as its creator, Garry Marshall. Erin Marie Moran (born October 18, 1960) is an American Actress, best known for the role of Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days 
On other occasions, the pilot is never broadcast on television at all. Viewers of Temple Houston, for example, would likely have considered The Twisted Rope its pilot because The Man from Galveston was only publicly exhibited in cinemas four months later. Temple Houston is a 1963–64 NBC Television series which has been called "the first attempt. Even then, Galveston had an almost completely different cast, and its main character was renamed to avoid confusion with the then-ongoing series.
Types of pilot
Pilots are expensive to produce. Before a network commits to funding an entire pilot episode, it often requests a pilot presentation, a one-day shoot that, when edited together, gives a general idea of the look and feel of the proposed show. Some pilots can be just a few minutes long (e. g: 10 minutes or less); however, such pilots will not be shown on the air unless more material is subsequently added to them to make them at least twenty-two minutes in length, the actual duration of a nominally "thirty minute" program (taking into account commercials). Occasionally, more than one pilot is commissioned for a particular proposed television series to evaluate what the show would be like with modifications. Star Trek, and All in the Family are famous examples of this situation. Star Trek is a Science fiction Television series created by Gene Roddenberry that aired from September 8, 1966 through All in the Family is an American Situation comedy that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12 1971 to April
An example of change between the making of a pilot and the making of a series is To Tell the Truth in 1956. To Tell the Truth is an American Television Game show created by Bob Stewart and produced by Goodson - Todman The original title of the pilot was Nothing But the Truth and the show was hosted by Mike Wallace. Mike Wallace (born Myron Leon Wallace on May 9, 1918) is an American journalist. The program host was changed to Bud Collyer, and the title changed. Bud Collyer (born Clayton Johnson Heermance Jr, June 18, 1908 &ndash September 8 1969) was an American Radio actor/announcer
Pilots usually run as the first episode of the series, unless the series ended up being so different from the pilot that it wouldn't make sense (in this case the pilot (or portions of it) is often re-shot or rewritten to fit the rest of the series). The pilot for Gilligan's Island, for instance, showed the castaways becoming stranded on the island. Gilligan's Island is an American TV sitcom originally produced by United Artists Television. However, three roles were recast before going to series, with the characters either modified or completely altered to the point where the pilot could no longer be used as a regular episode. The series began with the second produced episode, with the characters already on the island. The story from the pilot was largely reworked into a flashback episode which aired later, although with several key scenes re-shot. Even the theme song, which was originally done as a calypso number was rewritten to be completely different.
There have been exceptions to this rule when a network or a producer has chosen to run the pilot at a later date. Series for which this has happened include the first Star Trek series, where the second, modified pilot ("Where No Man Has Gone Before") was aired as the third episode, and footage from the original pilot ("The Cage") was edited into newer footage to produce the two-part episode "The Menagerie". Star Trek is a Science fiction Television series created by Gene Roddenberry that aired from September 8, 1966 through " Where No Man Has Gone Before " is the second pilot episode of the Television series Star Trek (later known as Star Trek (However, at the time it was common for a series' episodes to be shown out of the order in which they were produced. ) Previously many unsuccessful pilots were shown as episodes of anthology series that were popular in the 50's and early 60's. An anthology series is a radio or television series that has a different story and a different set of characters in every episode The more recent television show Firefly set a particularly curious example, where the series was officially canceled before the pilot aired as the final televised episode. Firefly is an American Science fiction Television series created by writer/director Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Critics of the Firefly move complained that the networks decision to air the series out of sequence made it difficult for audiences to understand what was going on; when the series was subsequently released on DVD, the episodes were listed in Joss Whedon's intended order, with the two hour pilot as the first episode.
Occasionally pilots that fail to launch a series are nonetheless broadcast as TV-movies or as specials, usually as filler or as attempts by networks to recoup some of their investment in the production. Examples include the one-hour 1982 pilot for a never-produced Modesty Blaise series, and a 1986 pilot for The Saint in Manhattan, which had failed to launch a new series of Simon Templar adventures for television. Modesty Blaise is a Comic strip featuring a Fictional character of the same name created by Peter O'Donnell (writer and Jim Holdaway Overview Simon Templar is known as the Saint because of his initials (ST and also because of his heroic exploits that fly in the face of an otherwise nefarious reputation Presumably, strong ratings for such broadcasts are capable of changing the network's mind, but this rarely occurs. On some occasions, a pilot film for a televised series will air separately long after the series itself has been cancelled. Such was the case with the pilot film for A Man Called Sloane, which featured a different actor in the title role. A Man Called Sloane was an American Secret agent adventure television series that aired on NBC during the 1979 - 1980 After it was not picked up for the 2006 fall season, the Aquaman pilot became available on the iTunes Store. Aquaman is a television pilot developed by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar for The WB Television The iTunes Store is a software-based online Digital media store operated by Apple Inc A few cable networks, such as the now defunct Trio, showed various pilots (and even episodes) of failed or canceled television series.
The pilot episode of The A-Team features a different actor (Tim Dunigan) in the role of Face, the part that Dirk Benedict would become well known for in the following series. The A-Team is an American action Adventure Television series about a fictional group of ex- United States Army Special Forces Tim Dunigan (born August 2, 1955 in St Louis Missouri, US) is an actor who played Capt Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck, (often referred to simply as " Face " is a fictional character in the 1980s action / Adventure Dirk Benedict (born Dirk Niewoehner on March 1, 1945) is an American movie, television and stage Actor, In fact, creators Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo had wanted Benedict from the beginning, after seeing him as Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, but network executives insisted on a different actor in the role. Stephen Joseph Cannell, (born February 5, 1941; ˈkænəl rhymes with "channel" is an American Television producer, Writer Frank Lupo is an American Television writer and producer. A regular collaborator with Stephen J Lieutenant Starbuck, played by Dirk Benedict, is a character in the 1978 Science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica. Battlestar Galactica is an American Science fiction television series, produced in 1978 by Glen Larson and starring Lorne Greene Upon completion of the pilot (given the title 'Mexican Slayride' in syndication), they changed their minds, feeling that Dunigan wasn't right for the part, and the role was given to Benedict after all. In Broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast Radio shows and Television shows to multiple individual stations without going through
In addition to the occasional occurrence of a different actor or actress playing a lead character, the main set may be different — sometimes substantially — than the one used during the rest of the series. For instance, on The Cosby Show, the Huxtables' living and dining rooms in the pilot episode are different from the ones used in subsequent episodes. The Cosby Show is an American television Situation comedy starring Bill Cosby, first airing on September 20, 1984
The television show Even Stevens had a unique way of airing its pilot. Even Stevens was a American Comedy Television series that aired on Disney Channel. The original pilot was made two years before the show was picked up so the actors looked younger than they did when the series eventually aired. Taking advantage of this, Even Stevens' tenth episode used the pilot as a flashback for when the characters were much younger. Newer footage was mixed in to show the main characters daydreaming about the events in the pilot while being trapped on a Ferris wheel. The pilot originally contained inconsistencies too, such as the Stevens' last name being the Spiffys. Because of this, some dialogue was overdubbed before it aired.
Since the mid 1990s, television producers and networks have increasingly used presentation tapes called "demos" in lieu of full-length pilots.  These demos tend to be substantially shorter than a standard episode, and make limited use of original sets and post-production elements. See also Filmmaking Post-production occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, Videos audio recordings The idea is merely to showcase the cast and the writing. These types of pilots are rarely broadcast, if ever, although the material is sometimes partially retrofitted onto a future episode of the resulting series.
Examples of series sold using demos
A backdoor pilot is a "pilot episode filmed as a standalone movie, so it can be broadcast if not picked up as a series". One Tree Hill is a teen television drama created by Mark Schwahn that premiered on September 23 2003 on The WB Television Network. Saul of the Mole Men is a live action show created by Craig Lewis, writer on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Foster's Home Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge (also known as Knowing Me Knowing You or abbreviated to KMKY Fictional narratives (and works of art exist beyond their completion e  It is distinguished from a simple pilot in that it has a dual purpose. It has an inherent commercial value of its own while also being "proof of concept for the show, that's made to see if the series is worth bankrolling". 
A historically important venue for backdoor pilots has been the anthology series. An anthology series is a radio or television series that has a different story and a different set of characters in every episode They have variously been used as a place to show work still being actively considered for pickup, and as a venue for completed work already rejected by the network. With the decline of anthology series, backdoor pilots have increasingly been seen as episodes of existing series, one-off television movies, and mini-series. A miniseries (also mini-series) in a serial Storytelling medium is a production which tells a story in a pre-planned limited number of episodes As backdoor pilots have either failed to sell or are pending the outcome of the broadcast, networks will not advertise them as pilots. It is thus often unclear to initial viewers of backdoor pilots that they're seeing a pilot of any kind—unless they have been privy to knowledgeable media coverage of the piece.
Examples of mini-series or movie pilots
- The ABC mini-series Dinotopia was turned into a short-lived series. Dinotopia is a Fictional Utopian place discovered and described by Author and Illustrator James Gurney.
- The 4400 on USA Network was initially broadcast as a miniseries, and was later picked up as a full series on the same network. The 4400 (read "the forty-four hundred" is a Science fiction Television program produced by CBS Paramount Network Television in association
- The reimagined Battlestar Galactica was initially broadcast as a miniseries on the Sci Fi Channel, and enormous popularity caused it to be picked up by the network. The Battlestar Galactica Science fiction franchise which began as a 1978 TV series, was "reimagined" in 2003 into a TV miniseries
- The Cartoon Network series Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends and Samurai Jack debuted as television movies and were later picked up as series. Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is an Emmy Award winning American Animated television series created and produced at Cartoon Network Studios Samurai Jack is a 4-time Emmy Award -winning American Animated television series created by animator Genndy Tartakovsky that aired
- The Doctor Who telemovie was to serve as a backdoor pilot for a new series with the Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann. Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The Eighth Doctor is a Fictional character, the eighth incarnation of the Doctor seen on screen in the long-running BBC television Paul McGann (born 14 November 1959 in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom) is an English actor who made his name on the BBC serial The series was not picked up, but the series was later revived in 2005 by BBC Wales. BBC Wales ( BBC Cymru) is a division of the British Broadcasting Corporation for Wales. Prior to that, McGann would reprise his role for a series of Big Finish audio adventures licensed by the BBC. Big Finish Productions is a British company that produces books and audio plays (released straight to Compact disc and
Examples of pilots within other series
- All In The Family served as backdoor pilots to 3 different shows. All in the Family is an American Situation comedy that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12 1971 to April
- The first was for Maude in which Archie & Edith are invited to Maude's daughter's wedding only to be ruined by Archie calling the cops on the bachelor party.
- A second backdoor pilot was done for The Jeffersons where the Jeffersons move out of Queens and into a new condo in Manhattan.
- The third backdoor pilot was done when the show became Archie Bunker's Place and served as the launching board for the show Gloria. Archie Bunker's Place is an American Sitcom originally broadcast on the CBS network conceived in 1979 as a continuation of Gloria was a Spin-off television Situation comedy that lasted one season on CBS, from September 1982 to September 1983
- Happy Days launched the successful series Laverne and Shirley after the airing of the shows where the characters were dates. Happy Days is an American Television sitcom that originally aired from 1974 to 1984 on ABC. Laverne & Shirley was a popular American television Situation comedy that ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983
- The Andy Griffith Show: In May 1964, on the season 4 finale, Andy's deputy, Gomer Pyle, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in a backdoor pilot for Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.. The Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom first televised by CBS between October 3 1960 and April 1 Gomer Pyle was the simple-minded gas station attendant and later Auto mechanic in the American TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show Gomer Pyle USMC is an American Situation comedy that originally aired on CBS from September 25 1964 to May 2 1969 Also, in May 1968, the series finale was actually a backdoor pilot for Mayberry R.F.D.. Mayberry RFD Mayberry RFD (RFD is a postal abbreviation for Rural Free Delivery was a Spin-off, or perhaps more accurately a direct continuation of
- The Twilight Zone itself was a development from a backdoor pilot ("The Time Element") written for Playhouse 90 but finally airing as an installment of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse: the cover page of the shooting script refers to "The Twilight Zone". The Twilight Zone is an American Television Anthology series created by Rod Serling. Playhouse 90, a 90-minute dramatic television anthology series was telecast on CBS from 1956 to 1961 for a total of 133 episodes Desilu Productions was a Los Angeles California based company jointly owned by American actors Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The airing of a second, more conventional, pilot episode ("Where Is Everybody?") followed 11 months later and served as the first official episode of the legendary series. "Where is Everybody?" is the first episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. 
- The military investigative drama NCIS began as a two-part episode of JAG. NCIS, promoted as Navy NCIS in its first season aka Navy NCIS Naval Criminal Investigative Service or NCIS Naval Criminal JAG (the American Military Acronym for Judge Advocate General) is an American adventure / Legal drama Television
- CSI: New York began as an episode of CSI: Miami, which itself began as an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. CSI NY is an American Police procedural Television series, which premiered on September 22, 2004. CSI Miami is a spin-off of the CBS network series. CSI Miami airs new episodes Mondays at 10 PM ET/PT on CBS. CSI Crime Scene Investigation is an American crime drama Television series that trails the investigations of a team of Las Vegas Both spin-off series featured crimes being investigated by the CSI units from both cities/series.
- Top of the Heap, a short-lived television series starring future Friends cast member Matt LeBlanc, began as an episode of Married...With Children. Matthew Stephen LeBlanc (born July 25, 1967) is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award -nominated American Actor, best known for
- The pilot episode of Private Practice (a spin off from Grey's Anatomy) was first shown on May 3, 2007 in a special two hour episode of the main show. Private Practice is a Spin-off of the popular television show Grey's Anatomy. Grey’s Anatomy is an American Primetime television medical drama. Events 1491 - Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptised by Portuguese missionaries adopting the baptismal name of João Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.
- Boston Legal, a spin off from The Practice, was introduced through a six episode story arc that saw James Spader's character being fired and the collapse of the firm from The Practice. Boston Legal is an American Legal drama - Comedy created by David E The Practice is a American Legal drama created by David E Kelley centering on the partners and associates at a Boston
- An episode of the The Cosby Show also served as a pilot for the Spin-off series A Different World
- The popular show Xena: Warrior Princess had its starting premises on two episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (first season's "The Warrior Princess" and "The Gauntlet"). The Cosby Show is an American television Situation comedy starring Bill Cosby, first airing on September 20, 1984 Media spin-off is the process of deriving new Radio programs Television programs or Video games or even Novels from already existing ones A Different World is an American Television Sitcom which aired for six seasons on NBC (from September 24, 1987 Xena Warrior Princess is an American Television series that aired from September 15 1995 until June 18 2001 The two shows would also frequently share characters (Ares, Joxer, Autolycus, Callisto, Salmoneus among others) and have intertwining plots.
- An episode of The Golden Girls served as a backdoor pilot to the series Empty Nest (although the pilot had undergone a number of changes before the series aired). The Golden Girls is an American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, Empty Nest is an American Television Sitcom that ran originally on NBC from 1988 to 1995
- An episode from February 1960 of The Danny Thomas Show served as a backdoor pilot for The Andy Griffith Show. The Danny Thomas Show (known as Make Room for Daddy during the first four seasons is a Sitcom which ran from 1953 to 1957 The Andy Griffith Show is an American sitcom first televised by CBS between October 3 1960 and April 1 In the episode, Danny Thomas' character is arrested by Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) of Mayberry, North Carolina for running a stop sign. Andy Samuel Griffith (born June 1, 1926) is an American Actor, producer, Writer, director The Andy Griffith Show was retooled from this episode and debuted on October 3, 1960.
- Magnum, P.I.: After playing the very similar character of pilot Grady Dancer in two episodes of Magnum co-creator Donald P. Bellisario's 1982-3 series Tales of the Gold Monkey, William Lucking was introduced as ace pilot Sam Hunter, a treasure hunter like Grady. Magnum PI is an American Television show starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a fictional Private investigator Donald Paul Bellisario (born August 8, 1935) is an American Television producer and Screenwriter. Tales of the Gold Monkey is a 1982 Television show broadcast by ABC. William Lucking (born June 17 1941) is an American Film, television and stage Actor. Again a series wasn't picked up (although Bellisario went on to rework the 'adventures of an ace pilot' concept in Airwolf). Airwolf is an American Television series that ran from 1984 through 1987
- Robin Williams appeared as "Mork" on the series Happy Days. Robin McLaurim Williams (born July 21 1951 or 1952 is an American television stage and film actor and Comedian who has won an Academy Award for his performance His overnight success led to his own series, Mork and Mindy. Mork & Mindy is an American Sci-fi -based Sitcom broadcast from 1978 until 1982 on ABC.
- An episode of Diff'rent Strokes featured a woman who taught a class of immigrants a course on English. Diff'rent Strokes is a popular American sitcom that aired on the NBC Television network from November 3, 1978 The show was never picked up, however this premise for a series was used in the 1986-87 syndicated sitcom What a Country. What A Country! is a comedy television series shown between 1986 and 1987
- In 1976, the character of Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas) had become so popular in Starsky & Hutch that producers considered giving him a spin-off. Huggy Bear were an English Riot grrrl band formed in 1991 in London, England. Antonio Juan Fargas (born August 14, 1946) is an American Actor made famous for his roles in 1970s Blaxploitation movies Starsky and Hutch (usually written as Starsky & Hutch) is a 1970s US Television series that consisted of a 90-minute pilot The second season episode "Huggy Bear and the Turkey" (which would have been the name of the proposed series) saw Huggy paired with former Sheriff "Turkey" Turquet (Dale Robinette) as Private Investigators. The idea flopped and the series was never made.
- Two second season (1979) episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard, "Jude Emery" and "Mason Dixon's Girls", served as backdoor pilots for would-be series. The Dukes of Hazzard is an American Television series that originally aired on the CBS television network from 1979 to 1985. The former concerns a Texas Ranger, and the latter is about a traveling Private Investigator and his beautiful assistants; both were written by Dukes creator Gy Waldron in hope of launching new shows, but neither episode led to a series being commissioned. Gyneth Markley "Gy" Waldron is an American Screenwriter and Director best known as the writer/director of the movie Moonrunners
- Magnum, P.I.:
- The first season (1981) episode titled 'J. Magnum PI is an American Television show starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a fictional Private investigator Digger Doyle' presented the character of security expert Joy "Digger" Doyle (Erin Gray) of the episode title, in hope of launching her own series, but the idea didn't follow through. Erin Gray (born January 7 1950 is an American actress, perhaps best known for her roles as Kate Summers in the Situation comedy Silver Spoons
- The third season (1983) episode 'Two Birds of a Feather' again served as a potential pilot for a new show.
- The feature-length (later airing in two parts in syndication) second season (1984) Knight Rider story "Mouth of the Snake" (a. Knight Rider is an American Television series that originally ran from September 26 1982 to August 8 1986 k. a. "All That Glitters") introduced Charles Taylor as bionically enhanced David Dalton (the story is notable for little inclusion of series leads Michael Knight and K.I.T.T., or few other series regulars or locations). Charlie and Chuck are common familiar or shortened forms for Charles. Michael Knight may refer to Michael E Knight, American actor known for work in daytime soap operas Michael Knight (Australian politician KITT is the acronymic descriptor for the fictional adventure series Knight Rider character On this occasion, the concept actually was picked up, leading to several TV movies featuring Dalton in 1986; However they were not successful and a full series did not appear.
- The first two seasons of the original Twilight Zone had several instances of backdoor pilots, none of which were successful in establishing a new series. The Twilight Zone is an American Television series created by Rod Serling. Two episodes of the series were intended as backdoor pilots, both (possibly) coincidentally about guardian angels. One was called "Mr. Bevis," which starred Orson Bean as a down-on-his-luck man; the other was called "Cavender Is Coming," which starred Carol Burnett as a down-on-her-luck woman and Jesse White as her angel. "Mr Bevis" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. Orson Bean (born Dallas Frederick Burrows July 22, 1928) is an American Film, Television, and stage "Cavender Is Coming" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. Carol Creighton Burnett (born April 26, 1933) is an American Actress, Comedian, Singer, Dancer and Jesse White ( January 3, 1917 &ndash January 9, 1997) was an American Television, Film and stage Neither were picked up, and neither were particularly well-received by Twilight Zone fans. Producer Buck Houghton has expressed particular disappointment with "Mr. Buck Houghton ( 4 May 1915 &ndash 14 May 1999) was a Television producer for the first three seasons of The Twilight Zone Bevis. "
- Star Trek provides a famous example of the latter "backdoor pilot"-type with the episode "Assignment: Earth" where the crew of the Enterprise encounters Gary Seven, an Earth-man raised and trained by an advanced and unknown alien race to oversee and protect Earth in a story that was intended to introduce the character and other supporting characters and their adventures in a proposed spin-off series. " Assignment Earth " is a second season episode of Star Trek The Original Series. Gary Seven is the major character in the last episode of the second season of the original Star Trek Television series, " Assignment Earth Media spin-off is the process of deriving new Radio programs Television programs or Video games or even Novels from already existing ones It failed to become a series, however.
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Disaster" featured isolated groups of the primary and supporting cast in semi-standalone stories throughout the ship. Star Trek The Next Generation ( STTNG or TNG) is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning science fiction television program created by Gene Roddenberry " Disaster " is a season 5 episode of Star Trek The Next Generation. One of these, featuring Chief O'Brien and Ensign Ro, was intended to test the characters' chemistry and ability to hold audience interest, in preparation for the planned series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Miles Edward O'Brien, played by Colm Meaney, is a main character in Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Ro Laren is a recurring Fictional character on Star Trek The Next Generation, played by Michelle Forbes. After Michelle Forbes, the actor who played Ensign Ro, did not sign on for the series, her character was rewritten as Major Kira. Michelle Forbes (born January 8, 1967) is an American Actress. Kira Nerys, played by Nana Visitor, is a main character in Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
- Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: a backdoor pilot featuring a witch and her two daughters (also witches, played by Sabrina actress Melissa Joan Hart's real life sisters) fell in love with a mortal man with two sons. Sabrina the Teenage Witch was an American sitcom based on the Archie comic book series of the same name. Witchcraft, in various historical anthropological religious and mythological contexts is the use of certain kinds of Supernatural or magical powers Melissa Joan Hart (born April 18 1976 is an American Actress and director best known for playing Sabrina in Sabrina the Teenage Witch The show was never picked up.
- In the first season of The Cosby Show, the Huxtable family spent the weekend at a youth center run by a young Hispanic man played by Tony Orlando and his girlfriend/wife. The Cosby Show is an American television Situation comedy starring Bill Cosby, first airing on September 20, 1984 Tony Orlando (born April 3, 1944) is an American singer best known for his work with the group Dawn in the early 1970s This show was never picked up.
- On the Disney Channel series That's So Raven, a backdoor pilot featuring a young girl who acted on a fictional show about the 1950s called "Better Days" was shown. That's So Raven is an Emmy, Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, NAACP Image Awards, and Teen Choice Award Award-winning American The series would have followed the girl's attempts to balance her acting career with her normal life as a middle schooler. The series was not picked up, but it did inspire the Disney show Hannah Montana
- The Fairly Oddparents had a backdoor pilot which starred Timmy Turner's television hero, Crash Nebula in 2004. Hannah Montana is an Emmy Award-nominated American Television series, which debuted on March 24 2006 on Disney Channel. This is a list of characters in the Nickelodeon animated series The Fairly OddParents. The following is an episode list for the Nickelodeon Animated television series The Fairly OddParents. The series was never picked up.
- The Brady Bunch also had a backdoor pilot called "Kelly's Kids" in which Ken Berry played a friend of the Bradys as he and his wife adopted not only a white orphan but also his black and Asian best friends as well, much to his bigoted neighbor's chagrin. The Brady Bunch is an American Television Situation comedy based around a large blended family. Kenneth Ronald "Ken" Berry (born November 3, 1933 in Moline Illinois) is an American Dancer, and comedic Actor This pilot was never picked up either.
Examples of Pilots-within-Anthology-Series
For a complete list, see Shows that spun off from Anthology Series
Usually these anthology series were for one off-stories and the episode showed the potential for a series. This is a list of television Anthology series that have had episodes spun off into full-blown series
- British Cop Drama The Bill was originally an episode of the anthology series Storyboard called "Woodentop". The Bill is a long-running British Television Police procedural, named after a slang term for the police. " Woodentop " is an episode of the Thames Television series of one-off plays Storyboard.
- Rumpole of the Bailey first appeared on Play for Today. Rumpole of the Bailey is a British Television series created and written by British writer and barrister Sir John Mortimer, Play for Today was a British television anthology drama series produced by the BBC and transmitted on BBC1 from 1970 to 1984
- Popular British comedies Steptoe and Son, Til Death Us Do Part, All Gas and Gaiters, The Liver Birds, Are You Being Served?, and Last of the Summer Wine all began as episodes of the Comedy Playhouse strand. Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about two rag and bone men living in Oil Drum Lane a fictional street Till Death Us Do Part is a British sitcom that aired on BBC1 from 1965 to 1975 All Gas and Gaiters is a British sitcom that aired on BBC1 from 1966 to 1971 The Liver Birds is a British sitcom that aired on BBC1 from 1969 to 1979 and in 1996 Are You Being Served? was a long-running British sitcom broadcast from 1972 to 1985 Last of the Summer Wine is a British sitcom written by Roy Clarke that is broadcast on BBC One. Comedy Playhouse was a long running British series of one-off unrelated sitcoms that aired for 120 episodes from 1961 to 1974
- The 2008 BBC series Freezing was expanded from the first episode (also titled Freezing) of the 2007 BBC comedy anthology series Tight Spot. Freezing is a BBC comedy series starring Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern about an otherwise successful couple in their forties who find themselves 
In some cases, a series is created specifically to showcase pilots.
- Both Prisoner and Escort (which led to Porridge) and Open All Hours first appeared as part of Ronnie Barker's Seven of One series. Porridge was a British situation comedy that was broadcast on BBC1 from 1973 to 1977 running for three series two Christmas specials as well as Open All Hours was a BBC Sitcom written by Roy Clarke which ran for four series (26 episodes in all between 1976 and 1985 with a pilot Ronald William George Barker, OBE (25 September 1929 &ndash 3 October 2005 was an English actor and Comedian, best known for his roles as Norman Stanley Fletcher Seven of One is a British comedy series that aired on BBC1 in 1973
- BBC2's series of comedy pilots which aired under the title Comic Asides spawned the series The High Life, KYTV, Mornin' Sarge and Tygo Road.
While, as listed above, there are many telemovies or episodes within series intended as pilots, there are often telemovies or episodes within other series which are so popular that they inspire later TV series.
A "put pilot" is an agreement between a network and a studio, where the network will incur substantial penalties if the pilot episode is not aired. This is a virtual guarantee that a pilot will be picked up. 
In American television, pilots are generally sought at a specific time of year, called "pilot season". Television is one of the major major mass media of the United States. A phenomenon of the shape of the traditional broadcast season, pilot season occurs between mid-March and early May. During this time, the networks must decide what should go on the fall schedule. The networks look at the large pool of pilots, and then decide which ones they will keep for series. These are announced as part of the fall schedule or as mid-season replacements. Sometimes during pilot season it is not unusual for a pilot to be shopped to another network after it has been rejected.
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