Laser Time presents: The Top 5 Unaired TV pilots – A Visual Companion

We stand by our choices, and odds are you will too once you see them below…

5. Heat Vision and Jack

Just because this is the most well known entry, doesn’t make it any less wonderful. Long before Dan Harmon created the utterly sublime Community, and a moment before Jack Black and Owen Wilson became household names, the world was given a single episode of Heat Vision and Jack directed by Benjamin Zoolander. I can somewhat understand why Fox passed on it, but it has to be said that this kind of thing is perfectly suited to damn near everything currently airing on Adult Swim. Give or take a dearly departed Timecop star.

I’m not quite sure how this thing found its way to the web in a pre-YouTube world, but awareness eventually boiled high enough to stir up talks of a now-forgotten movie deal. Even if you don’t watch the whole things, I implore you to watch the 1st portion of the episode, if only for Stiller’s intro and the opening credits. Amazing.

Watch the rest of Heat Vision and Jack here: Part 2  | Part 3

4. Next

If you’re not a Mr. Show fan, then your opinion simply doesn’t matter. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules, it’s just a natural truth. The mid-90s sketch HBO comedy show essentially changed and sculpted my world and comedic outlook, and I know I’m not alone. However, I bet most of you didn’t know that Bob Odenkirk embarked on a incredibly similar show with virtually the same cast, save for David Cross. Oh, and a theme song from The Strokes?

It’s a lot like Mr. Show, actually. Funny, albeit with it’s edge slightly dulled to make network air. To compensate for that, at least you can see a couple of amazing comics before they were Big Time. Patton Oswalt, Nick Swardson, Free Armisen, and Zach Galifianakis all receive bit parts in this sketch comedy series that wasn’t meant to be.

3. Lookwell

Just before Conan O’Brien landed his late night gig, he produced this rather amazing unaired pilot with Robert “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog” Smigel somewhere in between writing duties on SNL and The Simpsons. To call it “ahead of its time” is an absolute undersell. It’s hilarious, absurd, and stars a man more famous for being himself than fucking Batman. Although Adam West is a bit too old now, I would love to see this show go back into production with the exact same early-90s setting and production values. I’m talking horrific video tape and a 4:3 fullscreen presentation. Perhaps that’s my personal nostalgia, or maybe I’m just that committed to Lookwell getting the shot it deserved.

2. Dog Police

Fucksake, this thing has to be seen to be believed! You’ll think it’s a tongue-in-cheek joke made last year for a Funny or Die (and appearances by Adam Sandler and Jermey Piven would almost corroborate that theory) but goddmaned Dog Police is astounding real and hilariously earnest. A TV show pilot that scrapped the absolute bottom of the barrel of original ideas. They’re dogs. They’re from space. They’re psychic. They’re cops. They’re divorced? Please enjoy eight whole minutes of WTF sizzle!

NEW DEVELOPMENT! Dog Police is understandably hard to research, largely due to the fact that everyone involved would understandably prefer to forget it ever happened. I had just assumed Dog Police sprung from the brain of a couple of cynical network executives completely devoid of ideas, but John Spezzano tweeted me this music video that would seem to imply that the show is actually based on a fucking song?! I could be wrong, but the “makeup,” if you could call it that, is clearly different, somewhat more respectable, than that of the TV show. Keeping in mind the nature of horrible 80s music, it’s totally feasible that some idiot heard the song and became inspired to bring it to series with a significant drop in production value.

Wow… I love the internet

1. 17 Precinct

Strangely enough, this is the funniest of our list of unaired TV shows. It’s also the most expensive, which is unbelievable given the flat-out ridiculousness of its premise: Wizard Cops. Ron Moore brought a large portion of the Battlestar Galactica cast to sincerely and straight-facedly do and say the most outlandish things you’ve ever seen in a world where “science had never been invented.” Special thanks to the secret man who provided us with a studio copy of this magical pilot. We’ve all watched it several times and each viewing reveals something new to laugh uproariously at.

Now you’ve seen it for yourself. Imagine how much more you’ll love the Laser Time episode during your second listen!

25 thoughts on “Laser Time presents: The Top 5 Unaired TV pilots – A Visual Companion

  1. Heat Vision and Jack would definitely have been a cult show and probably would have had a similar lifecycle as the Tenacious D TV show. I loved that pilot though, when the motorcycle rolls through the diner doors and says “We should stop fighting” I completely lost my shit

    But I think it bears repeating that Dog Police pales in comparison to Poochinski http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFKqr5GhcxQ

  2. Did any one else notice that the Dog Police have normal human legs???!!! So creepy! Those masks are what nightmare are made of.

  3. Good god, Dog police is the worst piece of trash I’ve ever seen. But Heat Vision and Jack would have been great!

  4. Thank you for posting this article, i know it was a lot of effort on your end for 10-20 minutes of delight for your fans, We appreciate it.

  5. Da fug!
    Thanks for putting this article together we really appreciate it!
    But not as much as I appreciate your booo-hoooo-teeee!

  6. Wow, that dog police music video is amazing. That bad reminds me of a very bad very sad version of Oingo Boingo.

    When I saw the license plate on the dog police car, I just thought “Los Angeles Double Penetration”. Ugh, what a sad show.

  7. That Lookwell show was amazing. Too bad it never made it past pilot. I can’t believe how new that 17th Precinct show is. It just seems like such an 80’s/early 90’s show idea. “A world where science was never invented.” So gloriously dumb.

  8. Dog Police was unbearable. But I drudged through it and took the pain. I also like punching my nuts when I masturbate.

  9. I’m 14 and had no idea what Mr. Show was but, you always seem to work it in somehow. So I watched a few YouTube videos and guess what? It’s amazing, I’m saving money to buy the complete collection you linked to. I just commented to say thanks!

  10. I couldn’t even imagine Dog Police, even after listening to the PodCast. And then… oh damn. Oh damn. Oh damn. How did they think they’d get a series out of that?

  11. I’ll never get the Dog Police song out of my head, ever, it’s always there, and has been since the day this episode posted. It’s ruining my life!

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