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32 Pilot Episodes Of Rarified TV Magic! Tantalizing Tales Of What Classic Television Could Have Been! 18 Vintage Hours Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS In An Archival Quality 9 Disc All Regions Format DVD Set, MP4 Video Download Or USB Flash Drive!
ALEXANDER THE GREAT (Color, 1964, 51:42)
Media history as we know it would have been very different if this had been picked up by ABC - William Shatner as Alexander himself with Adam West costarring in a role as relegated as Robin's was to his Batman. Contains one of the campiest moments in the world's tv media archives - a shagged-out West gets a slap on the butt with Shatner's sword when West, laying on his stomach atop his horse, breathily thanks Shatner for rescuing him from his captors with the words "I thought you'd never come"!
DICK TRACY (Color, 1967, 40:48)
The same executive producer of Batman, William Dozier, piloted this idea for what was forseen as a similar show for a similar audience. One look at the derby hat equivalent of the bat pole will be enough for you to see that the two shows aren't equivalent at all. But boy, what a reach! A treat for any fan of mid '60s camp tv!
THE NUT HOUSE (Black/White, 1963, 33:39)
Rowan and Martin, roll over! The Nut House has taken over! This attempt by Jay Ward and crew to capitalize on the success of Rocky & Bullwinkle & bring straight-up vaudeville humor to live action tv ultimately failed, but it's a magnificent failure, for one can see clearly foreshadowed Laugh-In, Monty Python's Flying Circus and more of the television of the future!
THE SHADOW (Black/White, 1954, 25:15)
Tom Helmore stars in this fine suspense thriller that was conceived as a continuation of the landmark old time radio series "The Shadow" on television as the series closed down on radio that same year.
MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN (Black/White, 1954, 25:49)
Another old time radio show making an attempt to come to TV the same year as the Shadow, this pilot starred an actual famous magician of the day Coe Norton, the beautiful indian actress Lisa Howard & Woody Strode as Lothar. Like The Shadow, it was based on a comic character, which in this series was from one of Lee Falk's comic strips.
THE PHANTOM (Color, 1961, 25:02)
Another Lee Falk comic character rises off the pages to appear on the screen. Starring stuntman Roger Creed and guest starring Paulette Goddard and Lon Chaney, Jr, this episode entitled "No Escape" finds the Phantom fighting to bring about the demise of a jungle slave camp.
INVISIBLE INTRUDER (Black/White, 1958, 56:44)
Another attempt to bring "The Shadow" to television, this time in an hour long format and slicker in production. It ended up as a movie instead without ever having been screened. Stars Richard Derr as Lamont Cranston, and instead of Margot Lane as his trusted companion, it costars Mark Daniels as the oriental adept training Cranston in the practice of their art.
STAMP DAY FOR SUPERMAN (Black/White, 1954, 1:00:09)
Filmed some two years after Superman first appeared on television, this episode of the Superman series is not so much a tv pilot (it was never aired on television) but rather a pilot program in that it is one of the first attempts to translate a TV series into a government progaganda film for use in public schools to drum up support for the cold war by buying U.S. Savings Stamps.
SUPERPUP (Black/White, 1958, 21:38)
An attempt to capitalize on the success of the Superman series by casting midgets in dog costumes in of the continuing adventures of Bark Bent. Really, no kidding!
WONDER WOMAN (Color, 1967, 4:46)
A short live action pilot that was the very first time Wonder Woman was ever put to film.
ARCHIE (Black/White, 1963, 34:27)
Yep, the gang's all here - Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie & Jughead - and they all get into a mess of romantic trouble when Archie gets them all mixed up in a computer dating scheme. Stars John Simpson and costars Roland Winters of the "Charlie Chan" film series.
THE PATTY DUKE SHOW (Black/White, 1963, 28:03)
Last but certainly not least, the multitalented Patty Duke kicks off her famous series with her identical cousin first flying across the Atlantic from Scotland to enter into the lives of the Lane family in Brooklyn.
CITY BENEATH THE SEA (Color, 1970?, 10:28)
This is the studio presentation reel short that Irwin Allen created to sell the idea of a feature length TV movie done on a larger scale. It's the story of a 21st century underwater city, Pacifica, and its struggle against alien forces.
THE MAN FROM THE 25TH CENTURY (Color, 1968, 16:58)
Originally conceived as a spin-off of Lost In Space and oddly similar to the Supermarionation series Captain Scarlet that aired a year earlier, this pilot features a live action cast and a story based on the alien abduction of a young man trained by his captors to be a killing machine designed to destroy earth's space defense weaspons system.
SUPERBOY (Black/White, 1961, 29:30)
The concept has worked well in later years, but when a teen superboy was first put to pilot, the series concept was not picked up. Immediately following there is a 23:15 film of the screen tests for the pilot.
THE SILENT FORCE (Color, 1969, 50:36)
Aaron Spelling produced this pilot to sell his 1970-1971 TV Series, reminiscent of Mission Impossible, The FBI and even a bit of the A-Team, where five special agents match wits and schemes with organized crime.
THIS IS HAWTHORNE! (Color, 1969, 53:52)
For years the mythos of who created free form radio did not include the name of the man we now know was its father, Jim Hawthorne. A buttoned-down demeanor belied the madness of the audio space he created around him during radio shows first broadcast in California as early as 1948. He interacted with disembodied voices from phonograph players playing random record excerpts, imaginary friends such as Scrappy the friendly piece of paper, and with his sponsor's commercials for whom speeding them up and slowing them down was what was in store for them if they didn't behave themselves. The creation of this 1969 TV pilot was a bridge between this especial type of radio format and the televisual medium. To any & all for whom media history in general and radio history in particular is important, this DVD featuring this broadcasting genius is a must-have!
THE DON McNEILL SHOW (Black/White, 1950, 57:59)
Children of my father's generation listened to this decent man's beloved 1930's BREAKFAST CLUB radio program as they got ready to go to school in the morning. In 1950, his homespun humor, humanitarian wit & way with making conversation was brought to TV, and for the next two years his TV Club (episodes of which are available on EarthStation1.com's DON McNEILL & THE BREAKFAST CLUB DVD) ran in tandem with his radio show. This DVD features the original 1950 ABC network pilot of this TV series and serves to illustrate both the radio show format which was being brought to the TV pilot and the future envisioned for the televized version of this format. It is my great personal pleasure to be able to bring this treasure to the light of day in fulfillment of my father's request to enjoy once again this great, good man and his media legacy.
THE LAUGHMAKERS (Color, 1962, 27:16)
A way-ahead-of-its-time tv production written by Woody Allen, starring Alan Alda, Louise Lasser, Sandy Baron and Louise Sorel, chronicling the travails of a troupe of improvisational actors onstage at "The Freudian Slip" and hanging out at "The Cafe Nervosa".
THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS (Black/White, 1959, 28:38)
Like all American boys of his day, Dobie wanted to be popular, rich and, especially, successful with the ladies. Each week, accompanied by Maynard G. Krebs, TV's first "beatnik" character played by Bob "Gilligan" Denver, beauties such as Tuesday Weld and Yvonne "Batgirl" Craig would be the object of his affections, as nemeses such as Warren Beatty got in the way.
PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS (Color, 1967, 32 Minutes)
The raucous & wonderful tv pilot for the series that was to become known as "IT'S HAPPENING" featuring their unique mix of music and comedy.
THE DEAN JONES SHOW (Black/White, 1965, 27:45)
A touching comedy chroniciling the attempts of a playboy scientist to straighten up his life in order to assume responsibility for his 15 year old sister.
FRED ASTAIRE'S PREMIERE THEATER (ALCOA PREMIERE THEATER) - 7 AGAINST THE SEA (Black/White, 1962, 51:50)
A hard-bitten piece of dark drama that through the most unlikely of turns ended up the old time television favorite "McHale's Navy". With Ernest Borgnine as McHale & others from his comedy series crew in evidence in this pilot, one can only imagine how Tim Conway would have played such a heavy #2. Great substantive drama.
THE CHEATERS (Black/White, 1960, 26.35)
Insurance fraud on the ski-slopes spells murder to the company investigators. Never before or since has the insurance industry been such exciting and suspenseful viewing!
THE GAMBLERS (Black/White, 1967, 25:45)
A lonely mountain-climber recovering a stroke makes those about him suffer as a result of recklessly testing himself against a mountain and failing.
WILBUR POPE AND MR. ED (Black/White, 1960, 25:40)
The beloved children's short stories by Walter Brooks ultimately wound up as this tv pilot. Though it featured a different human cast than was to be used in the series, the same grand horse, Bamboo Harvester, and the same voice for the horse, the uncredited Allan "Rocky" Lane, appeared in both pilot and series.
THE GEORGE BURNS SHOW (Black/White, 1958, 25:15)
The pilot for the 1958 series that was to intended to be a continuation of THE BURNS & ALLEN SHOW without his lifelong comedy team partner and wife, Gracie Allen, who had decided to retire from show business due to chronic ill health.
PRIDE OF THE FAMILY (Black/White, 1953, 26:03)
Cultural icons past and present meet in this pilot for this 1953-1955 family sitcom - Fay Wray of KING KONG fame and Natalie Wood of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE renown. Stars Paul Hartman.
BABY (Black/White, 1960, 26:05)
Before there was LOOK WHO'S TALKING, there was HAPPY. Though uncredited, the baby HAPPY was voiced by the great voice-actor Richard "Dick" Beals, and the pilot as well as the rest of the 1960-1961 sitcom was directed by the legendary Mickey Rooney.
THE SOUPY SALES SHOW (Black/White, 1966, 49:48)
Costarring Enest Borgnine & Judy Garland. This is a better digital encoding than is available elsewhere.
WHERE THERE'S SMOKEY (Black/White, 1959, 49:48)
The Unsold Desilu TV Pilot costarring Gale Gordon.
LUNCH WITH SOUPY (Black/White, 19:00)
Sponsored By Jello. Also includes "Soupy Sales Show" (1965, WNEW, (Black/White, 23:05) and 1978 "Soupy Sales Show" Outtakes Pt. 1 (Color, 20:32) & Pt. 2 (Color, 27:51)
A Television Pilot, also known as a Pilot, TV Pilot or a Pilot Episode, and sometimes marketed as a Tele-Movie) is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show to a television network. At the time of its creation, the pilot is meant to be the testing ground to gauge whether a series will be successful. It is, therefore, a test episode for the intended television series, an early step in the series development, much like pilot studies serve as precursors to the start of larger activity. In the case of a successful television series, the pilot is commonly the first episode that is aired of the particular series under its own name -- the episode that gets the series "off the ground". A "backdoor pilot" is an episode of an existing successful series that heavily features supporting character(s) or guest stars in previously unseen roles. Its purpose is to introduce the characters to an audience before the creators decide on whether or not they intend to pursue a spin-off series with those characters. Television networks use pilots to determine whether an entertaining concept can be successfully realized and whether the expense of additional episodes is justified. A pilot is best thought of as a prototype of the show that is to follow, because elements often change from pilot to series. Variety estimates that only a little over a quarter of all pilots made for American television proceed to the series stage.