Saturday, April 06, 2019

1966-67 TV Pilots

I'm a sucker for "what might have beens" so I'm always attracted to TV pilots that didn't sell, didn't air, or, in some cases, didn't even get made. Here we have a couple of articles from VARIETY giving hints of shows we never got to see as well as shows we eventually did, but that didn't necessarily last long enough to be remembered. Some interesting stuff here.

THEM MONROES made it on, somewhere along the way announced as WILD COUNTRY before settling for the more grammatically correct THE MONROES. It only lasted one season but maintains a fan base as evidenced by then six year old Tammy Locke's autograph show appearances all these years later.

Sally Kellerman guest starred on many of the shows listed here that season but her own series with Darrin McGavin never happened.

Donna Butterworth was a cute, popular child star of the moment, but she never ended up getting her own series.

The weirdly titled MEN AGAINST EVIL got rebranded as THE FELONY SQUAD and had a healthy run of several seasons although I don't believe it was ever syndicated. 

If I recall correctly, Paul Lynde would have been Bill Asher's "poor man's Sherlock Holmes." Had Van Williams gotten the series noted here, who would have been the Green Hornet? Of course, THAT GIRL and THE PRUITTS OF SOUTHAMPTON made it to series, one an influential hit and the other a legendary flop. Star Phyllis Diller's name doesn't appear to be yet associated with the latter here.

Surprised he Irwin Allen series didn't make the cut as everything he touched seemed gold around this time. MR. TERRIFIC came and went but interesting to note here the original plan for BATMAN style serialization. Also interesting to note so many of Jack Benny's writers involved.

The PERILS pilot...may have been the movie eventually released to theaters with Pat Boone. IT'S ABOUT TIME and RUN BUDDY, RUN! got a green light but neither lasted beyond one season. The former remains memorable for its theme song.

Looks like I'm missing a segment here. Sorry. 

PISTOLS was a great show, ended prematurely when star Ann Sheridan succumbed to the cancer she had been hiding when she took the series. JERICHO ran briefly and, naturally, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE...but...Wally Cox??

HERO IN THE HOUSE became just THE HERO, fondly remembered by some, but from the one episode I've seen recently, not so good. The LI'L ABNER pilot is on Youtube but wasn't particularly funny. I liked HEY, LANDLORD a  lot. "THE" CAT was T.H.E. CAT, another nostalgic favorite for many but a short run. And THE MONKEYS (sic). HAH!

JOURNEY INTO FEAR, produced by BATMAN's William Dozier and written by novelist Eric Ambler (according to some online sources the original BATMAN scripter) was expected to make it but didn't. It would be the reason Jeff Hunter, beyond the first pilot, could not have starred in STAR TREK, which you may have heard of over the years. Presumably the DICK TRACY listed here was also Dozier's pilot, now readily available and not too shabby. THE SAINT was an import, and Mike Henry dropped out of TARZAN on TV after being injured by an animal on his third and last feature as Tarzan. 

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