A companion piece to Unsold Pilots on Television, 1956-1966, this article is a bit of a disappointment to me. I couldn’t find a single image to add to it, not a TV Guide advertisement, not a newspaper advertisement, nothing. I suppose by the 1980s the networks realized that paying to advertise unsold pilots wasn’t cost effective. I’ll keep looking and I’ll keep researching unsold pilot programs. I’m sure there must be a few others that I haven’t covered. For now, though, take a few minutes to read Unsold Pilots on Television, 1967-1989. Here’s the summary:
Television pilots are produced by the dozens every year. These test episodes are used to sell potential programs to advertisers and networks but a large percentage of them aren’t picked up and never become an actual television series. What happens to an unsold pilot? Most are never heard of again. But the costs of making a pilot are high and starting in the mid-1950s it was commonplace for the networks to run summer replacement series made up entirely of unsold pilots. Read about nine such programs, including Just for Laughs, Comedy Theatre, Comedy Time and CBS Summer Playhouse, aired between 1967 and 1989.