How can I watch more TV pilots?
January 17, 2006 6:02 AM   Subscribe

How can I watch cancelled/never-aired TV shows?

I've recently been able to watch a few pilot TV shows that were never picked up as recurring series, specifically Heat Vision & Jack, which starred Jack Black and Owen Wilson as a super-smart astronaut and his melded former-roommate/motorcycle, and Lookwell!, which featured Adam West as a faded detective-show star still obseesed with solving crimes in real life, and the much-viewed Global Frequency pilot.

I was also able to use P2P to find episodes of cancelled shows like Life on a Stick, Eyes and Threshold that aired in different countries like New Zealand after the shows' American cancellation.

I'd love to be able to watch more pilots, either of shows that have been rejected in the past, or of shows that are being developed right now. And "missing" episodes of cancelled series would be a treat as well.

One specific abandoned pilot I'd really be interested in seeing is a show that Matthew Perry did shortly before being cast in Friends - he played a baggage handler in a futuristic "space airport" of some kind in a sci-fi/comedy whose title I can't recall.

Any leads or advice on finding shows along these lines?
posted by chudmonkey to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yeah, I really want to watch the few episodes of I'm With Busey. There was a guy selling illegal DVDs of them on eBay, but I think he got busted. P2P seems to have dried up on that show.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:08 AM on January 17, 2006

Not sure if you get cable and, if so, Trio, but their "Brilliant but Cancelled" is right up your alley.

Other than that, just keep hitting those P2P networks.
posted by deadfather at 6:32 AM on January 17, 2006

wrt to Threshold, even though it was cancelled in the US, it's still airing on SkyOne elsewhere, which is why you can still find episodes of it via P2P.
posted by yeoz at 6:32 AM on January 17, 2006

Trio, alas, is only available via the Internet now. Or soon, anyway.
posted by JanetLand at 6:43 AM on January 17, 2006

Trio the tv channel has been canceled, but may be resurrected as a web "channel". No word yet from Trio on if this is going to be a pay per view thing or supported by advertising.
posted by mmascolino at 6:48 AM on January 17, 2006

I went to a West Hollywood club once, three years ago, and they had a night (Thursday I guess) where they played on a gian screen pilot episodes that had never been picked up by the networks, I wish I could remember the club's name.

maybe some MeFite familiar with Kim's Video in NYC can help you with that
posted by matteo at 6:54 AM on January 17, 2006

This is probably not the answer you're looking for, but the Museum of Television and Radio has a large archive of television shows that are available for viewing. Whether or not they have the specific shows you are interested in, I don't know. This Museum has two major inconveniences: their catalog is not available online (although you can call a librarian and ask), and you have to visit their locations in New York or Los Angeles to actually view the content.
posted by blue mustard at 8:04 AM on January 17, 2006

Response by poster: Could anyone suggest specific shows known to be available via P2P? I know I can always keep looking, but I don't nessecarily know what I'm looking for... what are some well-known or widely-available pilots that never saw life as a continuing series? What are some TV series that had episodes produced that were never aired in the USA and Canada?

Another example I thought of that I'd really like to see: Unaired episodes of Andy Richter Controls the Universe. I found a .torrent link to a large collection of episodes, but it was on a private tracker ( that I can't seem to secure a membership from.
posted by chudmonkey at 8:04 AM on January 17, 2006

I don't think ultraviolet was ever shown in the US and only managed 6 episodes on Channel 4. It's a modern-day vampire hunting series set in London. 'Twas good. imdb. No idea if it's on P2P though.
posted by blag at 8:25 AM on January 17, 2006

Response by poster: Ultraviolet has a North American DVD release if I'm not mistaken. I've seen it written about in a local paper, Entertainment weekly, and all around the web. I'm definitely interested in it, but I'm also a big wuss and can't watch horror-esque content without a chaperone.
posted by chudmonkey at 8:37 AM on January 17, 2006

Best answer: chudmonkey, the private tracker you mention has really been my best source of cancelled/never aired/not yet aired shows. Lots of unusual and rare stuff scattered among the usual suspects. They also have a section for making requests if you're looking for specific shows that someone hasn't already posted, and they seem to be pretty good about someone being able to dig it up and upload it. (I have, I believe, 10 invites -- one has your name on it if you want it. E-mail's in my profile.) I can probably point you to a couple other specific places to check out too.

(Yes, Ultraviolet is available on DVD. Yes, 'twas very good. I didn't think it was all that scary, not in the way that vampire shows/movies are usually intended to be, but then again it takes a lot to make me flinch. Apparently they attempted a US version but it was so bad I don't think they even filmed the pilot. And there's also a movie version coming out next month (I think) with Milla Jovovich, but it looks like they use the basic concept in a more traditional horror movie format.)
posted by alyxstarr at 9:23 AM on January 17, 2006

I think the M. Perry show was called LAX:2025 or something like that. I also believe Dave Foley was in it, as well. But I'm lazy.
posted by TeamBilly at 11:01 AM on January 17, 2006

I enjoyed the pilot of "Global Frequency" (se01e00)
Wish someone had picked it up.
posted by nenequesadilla at 11:35 AM on January 17, 2006

matteo: are you thinking of The Other Network? Here's a Salon article (from 2002) that talks about it.
posted by O9scar at 1:14 PM on January 17, 2006

I'd like to see the pilot of the American version of Red Dwarf. I saw only a portion of a very horribly low quality download. I'm just very curious about it, being quite fond of Red Dwarf.
posted by Goofyy at 11:11 PM on January 17, 2006

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