Oh, the hype of pilot season! As networks and stars line up their next projects, we viewers can’t help but anticipate what our future TV schedules might look like. But not every pilot, as compelling as it may sound, is guaranteed to survive development hell and make it to our screens. This list celebrates the series with massive potential that never came to be, but are still living rent-free in our TV-loving minds.
Whether a cast-contingent pilot, planted spinoff or a comedy/drama presentation ordered by a network, these half-cooked ideas fell apart for various reasons, as many do each and every year. When the networks finally unveil their upcoming fall schedules at the upfronts each May, many pilots fail to land a time slot and thus fade away into nonexistence. But for the following pilots, we can’t help but ask: How were these not massive hits?
Below, we mourn a few of the most intriguing pilots that never got the chance to bloom, despite wowing casts, superstar creatives and fascinating premises. From the Cruel Intentions continuation and Beverly Hills Cop reboot that never were, to productions from Shonda Rhimes and Krista Vernoff, there have been some truly promising ideas that were either left unfinished or unordered by networks. We’re here to shine a well-deserved spotlight on some of the best ones we wish had seen the light of day.
NOTE: We limited our picks to pilots from the past 10 years. In addition, some of the most widely anticipated shows-to-not-be, such as The Farm and Marvel’s Most Wanted, were left off this list since their praises were already well-sung in TVLine’s Nixed Spinoffs We Wish We’d Seen.
View our list of pilots we wish had made it to air, then sound off in the Comments to let us know which scrubbed shows you were dying to see!