When TV Pilots Are Not Picked Up – 2015 Edition

With all of the joy exuded at the most recent Upfronts, unfortunately what tends to be forgotten is that many pilots were not picked up by the networks that ordered them, leaving actors, writers, show runners and directors to pursue other opportunities in their fields.

Our article that covered many of the abandoned and failed shows last year was so popular we’re doing it again for 2015.

TV writer Danny Chun, who just had one pilot selected (“Grandfathered,” at FOX) and one rejected (“Delores and Jermaine,” at ABC), kept a journal about the emotional rollercoaster for Vulture.

“The most pointless conversation in the entire universe is the one when an exec calls you to console you about your dead pilot,” Chun wrote, “the calls tend to happen at night, and the execs usually sound like they’re hiding in the trunk of their car or under a large rock in a park.”

But when it comes to receiving the green light, things go a bit differently:

“Here’s how you know a call in Hollywood is going to be good news: There are half a billion people on the line, because they all want to be in on the celebration,” Chun said. “I make a vow to let it all go straight to my head. If at least 10 people in suits don’t tell me I’m ‘crushing it’ … I’m going to quit the business.”

It should be noted at the time of this article’s publication, networks can still change their mind through June and decide to order another series. If nothing happens by that time, it’s still possible a cable network or streaming service might pick something up, but probably not likely.

Here are the pilots that didn't make the cut.


Eric McCormack
Eric McCormack
Studio City

48 Hours ‘Til Monday

“Studio City” features the tale of a young California-based singer (Florence Pugh) who resides with her drug-dealing songwriter father (Eric McCormack). “American Idol” musician Chris Daughtry was also cast as part of the show in the role of an addict rocker, and “So You Think You Can Dance” winner Jeanine Mason was hired as well. The story was inspired by the life of executive producer Krista Vernof.


Danny Pudi
Danny Pudi

Strange Calls

“Strange Calls” was based on an Australian comedy with the same name, and led by “Community” cast member Danny Pudi, who starred as law enforcement officer Toby, stationed in a secluded town. His new partner, Gregor, believes their location is a hub for the supernatural. This was the third attempt to remake the Aussie program.


"Chev & Bev"
"Chev & Bev"
The Kingmakers
The Advocate
Broad Squad

Delores and Jermaine
The 46 Percenters
The King of 7B
Family Fortune
Brainy Bunch
Chev & Bev

“Chev & Bev” (later retitled “Chevy”) was intended to be a Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo show about a fun-loving retired couple whose life is upended when they must raise to their grandchildren. The project would have reunited the two “National Lampoon’s Vacation” actors.


Giovanni Ribisi
Giovanni Ribisi
Sneaky Pete
For Justice

Super Clyde

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston was set executive produce “Sneaky Pete,” a project about a con artist (Giovanni Ribisi) who takes up work at a bail bond company and tracks down criminals. The scammer had taken up the identity of a former cell mate, and one of the man’s family members may be on to his game.

Author: Brian Cameron

Image via Deadline and NBC.

DEMO OUR DATA- Get a complementary data feed

Post a Comment