Paley Center Screening Unsold Pilots in April

The Paley Center for Media, at both its New York City and Los Angeles locations, will screen a collection of six unaired unsold pilot episodes every Sunday during April. “Grounded Pilots,” part of the Curators Choice Screenings program, runs from 12:15-4PM (local time) April 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.

Produced between 1962 and 1983, the pilots feature the likes of Farrah Fawcett, Michelle Lee, Victor Borge, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eva Gabor, and Alec Baldwin.

Here’s the complete list of unaired unsold pilots:

12:15 pm
Inside O.U.T. (1971)

Bill Daily, Alan Oppenheimer, Mike Henry, and Farrah Fawcett star in this spy spoof as agents from the Office of Unusual Tactics (O.U.T.). Six years after its initial airing, NBC rebroadcast the pilot in 1977 at the height of “Farrah-mania.” (28 min.)

12:44 pm
The Michele Lee Show (1974)

In this sitcom pitch, Michele Lee stars as an unlucky-in love-newsstand worker. (33 min.)

1:18 pm
The Victor Borge Comedy Theatre (1962)

Desilu Productions created this proposed anthology series to utilize the comedic and musical talents of Victor Borge. Borge introduces comedic scenes; two of which were excerpts from previously unsold Desilu productions. Suzuki Beane stars Katie Sweet as a child beatnik who ends up bonding with a rich classmate (Jimmy Garrett) and The Sound and the Fidelity features Tom Ewell as a Hi-Fi obsessive. A new sketch, directed by Desi Arnaz, stars Lucille Ball as a first time flier on an airplane who drives seatmate Gale Gordon crazy. (41 min.)

2:00 pm
The Zsa Zsa Gabor Show (1969)

Hostess Zsa Zsa Gabor welcomes Lucille Ball, Adam West, and Marty Allen as her guests in this unique talk show pilot. (35 min.)

2:35 pm
Mickey and the Contessa (1963)

A widowed college football coach (Mickey Shaughnessy) hires a housekeeper sight unseen and is surprised when his new employee turns out to be a glamorous Contessa (Eva Gabor). (29 min.)

3:05 pm
The Sheriff and the Astronaut (1983)

Alec Baldwin is the sheriff and Ann Gillespie is the astronaut in this drama about a couple on the hunt for a murderer killing off members of a prestigious family. (51 min.)

The screenings are opening to the public. Members can reserve seats.

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11 Replies to “Paley Center Screening Unsold Pilots in April”

  1. The Lucy segment of the Victor Borge show has popped up on YouTube. This segment is notable in 2 ways: It marks the last time Lucy and Desi would work directly with each other before he sold his share of Desilu back. It was also the first time Lucy would do a 2-character scene with her long-time friend Gale Gordon who would of course co star in her last 3 series!

  2. Thank you for sharing this information. I never heard of “Mickey and the Contessa” before. I have seen the “Suzuki Beane” pilot. It was quite charming, and very ahead of its time. If it had been picked-up, Jimmy Garrett would most likely not have been cast on “The Lucy Show.”

  3. “Mickey and the Contessa” sounds like an early version of “The Nanny”.

    The male leads of both programs share the same last name. Mickey Shaughnessy and Charles Shaughnessy. Any relation?

    1. I doubt that the 2 men were related, at least anywhere closely, since Charles is a Brit and Mickey was an Irish-American. I remember him playing a henchman w/ Norman Fell to Phil Silvers’ character in Disney’s 1970 film “The Boatniks”, and he was also in Steve Allen’s 1960 movie “High School Confidential”.

      1. Sorry, the 1960 movie with Steve Allen was “College Confidential”. I saw it on TCM awhile back.

  4. im willing to shell out big bucks foR the avaliability of THE 1966 ditty;;Preview tonite ** *somewhere in Italy company b**— ON LOCATION IN ITALY ;;;AFTER THE SPIN OFF of THE I spy EPISODE WITH JOEY HEATHERTON-(( ROBERT REED AND BArbara shelley along with john van dreelen…)) it was producer DANNY ARNOLDS’ own tipping of his hat to Sheldon Leaonard//it took until BARNEY MILLER for ARNOLD TO SCORE A HIT.. alas PATIENCE………..

  5. These failed pilots should be made public domain for two good reasons. One, is that since they failed they obviously have no significant financial value so there’s no money to be lost. And two, because it would allow people to see them who wouldn’t get a chance otherwise. There’s more of a historical significance to them than a commercial one.

  6. FWIW, this should read “unsold” pilots, not “unaired” pilots. I know The Sheriff and the Astronaut, Inside O.U.T., and Mickey and the Contessa were aired by their prospective networks.

  7. Latecomer checking in:

    I saw the Victor Borge pilot on a bootleg VHS some while back (I think I still may have it somewhere).
    What I mainly remember is about Suzuki Beane.
    The beatnik kid’s dad was played by a young(ish) Harry Dean Stanton; this was from a point in his career when he was going by his middle name professionally.

  8. I remember seeing “The Sheriff and the Astronaut” when the pilot originally aired. The reason was I though the young and then unknown Alec Baldwin was very handsome. This pilot was okay but I can see why it didn’t go to series, though I definitely thought Alec had star potential. It was the very next year in 1984 when he got his first big break and was cast as Val’s brother on Knot’s Landing!

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