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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  OT: Failed TV Pilot Clip Show « previous next »
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Author Topic: OT: Failed TV Pilot Clip Show  (Read 1608 times)
Yaddo42
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« on: August 16, 2004, 11:53:33 PM »

Did anyone else watch "The Best TV Shows That Never Were" on ABC Monday night? I missed the first 20 minutes, but the show was basically a clip show of various failed TV pilots from the 70 through the 90s, with corny smarmy narration over the clips explaining the shows and poking fun of them. TV executives feasting on the bad choices of their predecessors. It had a 2001 copyright, but I've never seen it before.

There were lots of awful, corny action and detective shows, plus clips of some bad sci fi and comic book inspired pilots. Although there were a few shows that sounded promising (the Star Trek spino-off "Assignment: Earth", the ST episode about Gary Seven), you see that some were just the wrong thing at the wrong time. Plus it fun to see ones that I actually remembered and lots where you found yourself saying, "I wish they could have MST3Ked that one". Good for lots of laughs.

Some of the notable ones:

"The Mighty Thor" - I remember the Hulk TV Movie that had Thor and Donald Blake, but never saw this one, looked pretty bad.

"DareDevil" - starred Rex Smith of "StreetHawk" fame. I saw this and actually liked it at the time. but it sure looks bad now.

"Generation X" - The cheap "New Mutants"-like TV movie featuring Emma Frost and Banshee and their team of mutant heroes in training. I saw this, and just hung my head in shame at the time.

"Samurai" - Joe Penny ("Riptide", "Jake and the Fatman") stars as a lawyer by day/crime fighter by night (where do they find the time?) who carries a katana (that he apparently never cuts anyone with and wears silly looking oriental robes and a headband (that can't hide a major receeding hairline). The fight choreography made the fights on "Star Trek" or "Batman" look like Jackie Chan flicks by comparison. Hell, it made "The Ninja/Master Ninja" with Lee Van Cleef and Timothy Van Patten look believable by comparison.

"Fuzzbucket" - a little boy bonds with a grubby looking "cute" creature that only he can see. Looks like an 'ET" ripoff. There were clips from a another one called "Wishman" where Linda Hamilton and the guy playing her husband go on the run with another "cute alien" to protect it from capture by the government. "The Fugitive" meets "ET". The alien looked like the fat cousin of the alien in "Mac and Me".

"Good Against Evil" - some guy and a priest fight against the devil's attempt to use his large corporate empire to take over the world and possess souls. there supposed to be lots of exorcisms performed on the show, kind of "the Exorcist" meets "Omen III". Why I wish it had gone forward was that the Devil was played by Richard Lynch!

"Gandy and Gabby" - a spinoff episode of 'The Rockford Files" starring Lou Gossett Jr. and Isaac Hayes as mismatched PIs. I remember this one, seemed quite promising actually.

"I-Man" - Scott Bakula as a guy who heals quickly after being exposed to "space gas" from a satellite that crashes to earth. But looked better than the other show featuring "Bakula" as a scientist who due to the usual "freak accident" while messing around in the lab gains cybernetic limbs and can turn into a cyborg crime fighter (basically his whole body is covered in a cheap and bulky armored suit with lots of flourescent bits.

"Chameleon" - the corny "sexpot/action babe with heightened senses and strength due to animal DNA" TV movie you've probably seen on Sci-Fi after it and its sequels aired on UPN.

and the best for last,

"The People" - produced by Francis Ford Coppola, it's about a school teacher who takes a job teaching in a remote village where there is a quirky country doctor (played by Bill Shatner!!!) and the townsfolk are strange Amish-like people with mystical powers, who may be aliens. Sounded like a lost episode of "The X-Files".

Goofy, fun special that gave me lots of fodder to look up on IMDB.
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Dunners
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2004, 12:11:39 AM »

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad stuff there. I was laughing at the midget police inspector.

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Yaddo42
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2004, 02:20:14 AM »

Yep, "Nick Derringer, PI". I loved the obvious stunt double during the scene when he was beating the guy up on the floor of the restaurant.

I got a couple of the descriptions wrong: In "Wishman" the creature is not an alien, it was grown in a lab. And on "I-Man" Bakula is exposed to the space gas while saving someone from a car crash, not that satellite mess I misremembered. Still funny as hell.

At least I finally got to see a few seconds of the infamous American pilot version of "Red Dwarf". Damn, that made the original (which I'm a casual fan of, I enjoy when I can see it, but it's never stuck with me the way say Monty Python has) look like Shakespeare.

Speaking of Python, I'd really like to see the show from Graham Chapman, "Jake's Journey". That actually looked good, just too odd for the time I guess.
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odinn7
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2004, 07:14:12 AM »

I watched that show while thinking if these shows were so bad, how did some of the things on TV these days actually make it? They were bad, looked real bad, but I consider most TV shows that are on now pretty bad also.

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George
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2004, 07:46:14 AM »

I loved the program.  I think that someone in Hollywood should take it as a personal challange to make one of these series today.

That being said, which one do you think could be reworked to have the best chance for success??
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trekgeezer
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2004, 08:10:40 AM »

Which Red Dwarf pilot did they show, there were actually two. Was it the one with the male Cat or with Terry Farrell as Cat?  Makes me wish I had watched all of it now.

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Ken Begg
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2004, 08:15:08 AM »

...were taken from two Hulk movies (Trial of the Incredible Hulk and Return of the Incredible Hulk) that doubled as pilots for the other characters.
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Yaddo42
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2004, 10:59:59 AM »

I have no idea which "Red Dwarf" pilot was shown (didn't even know there were two), the footage I saw had only scenes of "Lister" (Craig Bierko) and "Holly" (Jane Leeves), and footage of the exterior of the ship recycled from the original. This was about the time I found the show, I didn't even get this part on tape. I guess trying to explain "Cat" inside of a few seconds would have been rough.

The clip show was weird about showing too many characters in some scenes. They would digitally obscure the faces of some non-speaking characters in scenes. In a clip for a bad high concept spy show called "The Ultimate Imposter" they obscured the face of an actor even though his head partially blocked the actor in the frame who was speaking. I've seen this done on a few shows on E! (like the THS of "Welcome Back, Kotter" for all clips of Robert Hegyes). Could this be some odd issue about clearances, residuals, or SAG rules?

That show, "The Ultimate Imposter", sounded like a bad precursor of "The Pretender" with a touch of "Memento" circa 1979. Imagine a spy who loses his memory after he is captured by the enemy. When the good guys recover him, they find out they can upload data into his brain, programming him with info to become an expert in various fields, for new missions, up to "16 megabytes". IMDB says that what was programmed into his head disappeared in 48 hours.

What's weird is how much that "Just Desserts" pilot with Joel Grey sounded like the remake of "Fantasy Island" with Malcolm McDowell, where the humor was darker and Mr Roarke had a sinister side to him. I still like how they pointed out that the title was misspelled on screen.

I suppose "Jake's Journey" could be updated now, but without the writing of someone like Graham Chapman it probably wouldn't work. Humor and fantasy being hard to mix on screen. I'll have to check back about anything else being updated.

As corny as it looked, I'd like to see "The People" someday.
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Yaddo42
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2004, 11:05:37 AM »

Oh, BTW, it was nice to have even more proof that Keanu Reeves has NEVER been able to act worth a damn, even for TV.
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mr. henry
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2004, 11:28:44 AM »

this was a fun show...

the THOR show looked interesting...an alcoholic THOR running around L.A.

i have a question, there was a pilot shown for a show called "red dwarf" about a man that awakes in a spaceship millions of miles from earth. his only company is a H.A.L./max headroom type monitor display of the annoying THE NANNY chick...

it looked incredibly cheaply done on video but anyway, i have heard that there was a show in the U.K. calld "red dwarf"....is it the same show????

www.310am.com

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Jamtoy
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2004, 01:08:00 PM »

mr. henry,  check here.  



Red Dwarf is one of my favorite shows.

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mr. henry
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2004, 01:55:55 PM »

ah ha!!! mystery solved...

i see RED DWARF was a successful English show that the U.S. tried to remake in the states and it failed...gee...kinda like COUPLES eh?

www.310am.com

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"to be is to do" - Socrates
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"do be do be do" - Frank Sinatra
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2004, 01:59:03 PM »

That was one of the best things I've seen in a while. especially Fuzzbucket and the one where the kid turns into the toy dragon robot thing.


But, look at small wonder or Knight Rider for pete's sake.  I mean seriously, Knight Rider is as ludicrous as any of those shows
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George
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2004, 02:23:15 PM »

Mr. Henry....that wasn't the annoying woman from THE NANNY....
It was one of the annoying characters from FRASIER, Jane Leaves.
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Dave Munger
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2004, 07:26:18 PM »

I never saw the American Red Dwarf attempt, but not long after I heard they were going to do it, "Homeboys from Outer Space" came out, and I was afraid that was it.
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