3 thoughts on “Name a TV Show That Was Never As Good As Its Pilot

  1. Greatest America Hero – according to Stephen Cannell the network execs started meddling with the show after the pilot.

  2. This is a weird hill for me to live and die on but… M.A.N.T.I.S.
    The first episode shows such promise. A superb cast of almost-entirely African-American actors which overtly addresses themes of personal, systematic and internalized racism from a variety of perspectives. Signs of a larger conspiracy involving police violence. Carl Lumbly as a rich tech genius who created the MANTIS suit and equipment. A pair of mysterious characters hinting at something like a Wakanda-style Afrofuturist country. Some ropy bits of character design were covered up by the fact that a lot of the action scenes were filmed at night, and MANTIS wore a suit and trenchcoat over his exoskeleton, giving him a cool, pulp hero look.
    Story by Sam Raimi and Sam Hamm, with production by Sam Raimi.

    Cut to the first episode of the series proper, the entire supporting cast has been dropped, to be replaced by a white scientist who ACTUALLY invented all the MANTIS gear, and a white 90’s skate teen (100% poochie). Instead of a stylish suit and coat, we have a rubbery blue suit frequently shot in broad daylight. The ‘larger conspiracy’ turns out to be the work of a single, unaffiliated ‘supervillain’. All racial themes have been cut, as has the budget.
    And in protest, Sam Raimi and Sam Hamm both leave.

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