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Five Great TV Pilots That Became Terrible Shows



"desperate housewives"


Underneath its smooth, botoxed surface, the pilot—which began with a woman tidying up her house before shooting herself in the head—hinted at a dark, trashy tale of domestic frustrations.


“cop rock"


This show about policemen who break into song and dance every few minutes—its composer went on to write the soundtrack for Toy Story—was so bizarrely ambitious that it worked. But only for one hour. Totally awful after that.




With its manic mix of waterboarding jokes and power ballads, this pilot raced through more plot in 47 minutes than some shows cover in a season. The episode was a perfect balance of caustic and sincere; unfortunately, “Glee” has long since toned down the Electionesque satire in favor of a cheesy after-school-special shtick.


“the newsroom"


All of Aaron Sorkin’s famous flaws were there: flighty women, smug moralizing, toothless media criticism. But with one electric sequence—depicting a newscast coming together—“The Newsroom” briefly seemed like a show that wouldn’t rely on Coldplay songs for emotional depth.”


“studio 60 on the sunset strip"


Sorkin can certainly write a pilot. Six years before “The Newsroom,” he opened his behind-the-scenes look at late-night comedy with a riveting, threeminute tirade (taken wholesale from Network, but never mind). What came next—unfunny sketches and thinly veiled references to Sorkin’s ex-girlfriends—earned this gloriously terrible series its place in the annals of hate-watching.