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April 05 2012

The 20 Greatest TV Pilots Since 2000. Firefly clocks in at #20, with the real pilot, not the one Fox aired.

The real pilot is the second pilot, The Train Job is the third pilot, the first pilot was too grim and to be reshot in places.
Does The Train Job even qualify as a pilot? Wasn't that just part of the season-order?
There's some comments from Joss & Tim about The Train Job having to be the new pilot here.
The greatest tv pilot is Wash!

Pushing Daisies is my favorite pilot ever. It was just perfection. I'd have put Wonderfalls on the list, too.
I'm sorry but Alias' pilot episode was better than almost every show up there. It and Firefly's too should be higher on the list. I mean..The O.C.?? I like that show..but really?
Have not read yet, but surely Lost has to be #1.
Haha, Lost IS #1.
Yay for Friday Night Lights.

LOL @ stuffing the two great AMC shows (Mad Men/Breaking Bad) together near the top.

Good to know that LOST is still the pilot to beat.
I'm sorry, but any list with "greatest" in the title should never incorporate anything to do with shows like "The Vampire Diaries" and "Pretty Little Liars". Other questionable entries are "The O.C." and "Glee". While I can see how those latter two have appeal, I doubt you could say they had some of the best pilots since 2000. A good number of the other shows I can agree with, I just think specifically the inclusion of "The Vampire Diaries" and "Pretty Little Liars" are strange.
Lost will be difficult to top because the premise is simply perfect for a compelling pilot. People surviving a plane crash, trying to survive, and discovering a mystery is one of those things you kind of have to screw up and Abrams isn't an idiot.

I appreciate the Mad Men pilot being so high, because you have to get that one right for it to work. Firefly seems a bit low on this list though.

I enjoyed the Monk pilot immensely because for what it was, it was brilliant (and they hadn't turned it into an OCD comedy sketch show yet." Oh, and it had Michael Hogan before anyone knew who that was.

[ edited by azzers on 2012-04-05 20:46 ]
Who's Michael Hogan?
Alias' pilot is definitely way too low. At least top 5.

I agree that Vampire Diaries probably shouldn't be on there. I love the show, but the pilot was just alright for me. Can't comment on Pretty Little Liars because I haven't seen it. I think Lone Star is a strange entry, I thought it was good, better than I expected it to be, but not stellar or anything.

Glee as a pilot was pretty great, though the singing could have been better, and it did get better a few episodes in. OC I can understand, I remember watching it and thinking 'oh wow this is awesome' (I can't remember why now, or anything that happened in the pilot) and then 2 or 3 episodes later I stopped watching. So, the pilot must have been pretty intriguing... certainly don't understand it being that high though.
Michael Hogan had a guest spot on Dollhouse, but is probably best known as Saul Tigh on Battlestar Galactica which brings me to my next point.

Where's BSG? I can see a problem what with the mini-series and all as to whether or not it actually had a pilot and what episode to choose, but really, both the mini-series and the series first real episode, "33," are stellar and certainly better than some of the teen soap drivel they listed.

And lets talk about teen soap drivel that really isn't. Veronica Mars has, without a doubt, one of the best pilots I've ever seen. It perfectly introduces a myriad of characters, the world they live in, and an underlying mystery to it all and it does so in such a compelling way that you just have to watch the next episode.

I could really go on and on about a number of pilots that I think should be on this list, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, 24, Justified, heck, even Burn Notice, but I'll just leave it at that.
Quite different from the list I would have come up with, but at least I agree that the pilots of "Breaking Bad" and "Arrested Development" were nothing short of brilliant.

My favorite pilot of all time is probably that of "Veronica Mars", followed closely by that of "The West Wing" (IMO Bartlet's introduction more than makes up for the unfortunate physical comedy in that first episode.) My third fave, is probably the pilot of "Six Feet Under," which of the top of my head I also think probably was the strongest episode of the entire series.

ETA: Just to clarify, that The Xan Man comment wasn't up yet when I was writing this. Anyway, completely agree about Veronica Mars and Six Feet Under!

ETA: City of ... is my favorite Whedonverse pilot (aside from Wash). I know it is far from the most popular one in fandom, but I love it for its iconic scenes and the incredible noir feel of thing.

My favorite recent pilots include that of "Awake" (though really it was the trailer that was most amazing of all), "Once Upon a Time" (just watched that this week, haven't seen more yet, but I was very pleasantly surprised), and the BBC's "Sherlock".

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2012-04-05 21:29 ]
the Groosalugg, I love City Of for pretty much the same reasons. One of my favorite episodes of Angel.

Love The OC but think the pilot had some problems and so did The Vampire Diaries pilot.

Gilmore Girls, Nip/Tuck and Veronica Mars, The Shield, Wonderfalls, The Inside (don't care if only ten people saw it when it aired), Weeds all belong on that list, I think.
Definitely VMars. Also Studio 60 and Heroes
The Forbrydelsen pilot was stunning, I was sucked in immediately. For me, Sarah Lund became the best new female character since Buffy. UK-wise, probably the Life on Mars pilot. That was wonderful. I miss the Sam Tyler/Gene Hunt banter.
No love for the Veronica Mars pilot? That had one of my favourite lines in television history: "Want to know how I lost my virginity? So do I." I was hooked!
VM is pretty dang good. I'll throw in my vote for Awake, too, although the show hasn't quite lived up to that potential (and as stated above, the trailer is probably the most artistically amazing thing to come from the show yet).

I really liked the Chicago Code pilot too. I think it had a really cool twist there at its last act break. And West Wing, of course.
The Groosalugg - the only point I'd disagree with you on about Six Feet Under is that I thought the finale was the best episode of the series. Actually, I thought it was the best finale of any show I've ever seen. I guess that's OT, as this thread is about pilots. Apologies. But I agree with most of what's been said about pilots that should have been on this list, esp. VMars and BSG.
Dark Angel. The whole world/premise (Manticore, X5, the escape, the pulse, Jam Pony, Eyes Only) is all introduced in the first 10-15 minutes and it hardly comes off as dry exposition. The show had its ups and downs as it went on, but I thought that was a brilliant introduction to the series.
The OC's pilot is excellent, probably the best episode of the series and one of the best pilots I have seen. Glee has yet to really live-up to the potential shown in it's pilot (and first few episodes). I agree that Alias' pilot should be higher.

I like The Vampire Diaries but I thought the pilot was weak, the show doesn't really get going until the 5th or 6th episode. I also like The Walking Dead but wasn't too fond of the pilot.
I loved the BSG pilot, miniseries or not, it was awesome. Whedonversewise Firefly was by far the best. first time watching through Buffy and Angel I was not very impressed at first, not to saw I don't love the shows now, but they had to grow on me. and Dollhouse got a bit of shaft for a couple of eps before becoming pure awesome.

so that's my opinion
There have only been 3 series that hooked me with the first ep, Supernatural, Veronica Mars and Roswell. Those 3 the actors seemed to have been playing those characters for years and made me comfortable with them. I did not get hooked on TVD until ep 6. I do agree Firefly would have been on this list IF the first ep I saw was really the first ep. I have the DVD and it is nice played in order. ;)
Plus of course the LOST pilot has the advantage of prominently featuring an actual pilot in it.

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