For those of us who are into seeing what the networks chose to turn down, ABC has an interesting-sounding special on Monday. The Best TV Shows That Never Were features clips from a variety of unaired pilots. I have a terrible feeling that it’s going to be framed by the sort of annoying desperate-pun-filled, badly-read-off-cue-card-by-minor-celebs framing presentation that TV tends to use when it pays attention to itself, and I’d much rather have a festival of unsold pilots rather than clips, but still this should be worth a look. Lee Goldberg, the respectable TV historian who wrote the book on unsold pilots is one of the key guys behind it, so maybe there is some hope.
They’re pushing the special based on the names of the folks who appear in some of these unsold pilots, including Keanu Reeves, Marg Helgenberger, Tom Selleck, and Robert Urich. That last one is a surprise; I sometimes suspect that Urich holds the record for the most TV series produced. It almost seems like he wouldn’t have had time to make a pilot that didn’t get picked up.