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In the television industry a pilot is either a hit or a miss. If you want that show to get more episodes, a full season, or even to see the light of day, you have to do it right. Who knew that there were so many shows we know that did it wrong the first time?


The power of three will set us free! One of the classic shows during the late 90s/early 2000s, this show began fairly different than how we know it. The biggest difference? Alyssa Milano wasn’t cast as Phoebe! Previously filmed with Lori Rom as the youngest sister, this pilot is just all sorts of wrong.

What else is different:

Halliwell Manor is called Warren Manner
Andy Trudeu is played by Chris Boyd instead of T.W. King
All the music in the unaired pilot is way more dramatic.
The show was actually shot in the manor they show, and only the attic was a sound stage because the real attic was locked. However in the aired pilot, all filming is moved to a sound-stage.

Where you can watch it: Youtube

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Oh how we love vampires now, but back in the day? It was all about Buffy, who slayed them! Before Edward Cullen came a long and captivated millions of girls with his sparkling demeanor, Buffy empowered millions of girls with her ability to kick butt and changed the stereotypical woman protagonist on television. In this unaired pilot we see Buffy as a brunette and it’s only about 24 minutes long.

What else is different:

Sunnydale High was originally named Berryman High.
Riff Regan plays Willow instead of Alyson Hannigan.
The final battle happens in the school auditorium instead of a crypt.
Joyce Summers, Angel, and the Master are nowhere to be seen.
The iconic library is way larger and completely different.

Where you can watch it: YouTube

Big Bang Theory

Bazinga! The Big Bang Theory goes to show that no matter how smart you are, when it comes to attraction and relationships you can still be pretty darn stupid. One of the biggest and most noticeable difference is the replacement of Penny with Katie, and Sheldon being not asexual.

What else is different:

There’s no Howard, Rajesh, or Penny.
The girl in the show is named Katie, and she’s sexy, sarcastic, and very non-Penny.
Sheldon loves big butts and he cannot lie.
There’s no broken elevator!
Sheldon likes to dance.

Where you can watch it: VideoSift

Game of Thrones

You would think that being based off a book they couldn’t really have changed the pilot episode of this drama too much, but you’d be surprised. Originally Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, kept his own blonde hair for the pilot. However in the aired pilot, he wore a brown wig to fit the character in the books. Good thing too, we wouldn’t want to mix him up for a Lannister!

What else is different:

Daenerys Targaryen is played by Tamzin Merchant instead of Emilia Clarke.
Catelyn Stark is played by Jennifer Ehle instead of Michelle Fairley.
Grand Master Pycelle was originally in the pilot before being removed and also switching actors from Roy Dotrice to Julian Glover.
They used Doune Castle for Winterfell instead of using several other locations and a soundstage for the rest of the series.

Where you can watch it: Unfortunately this pilot hasn’t even been available to download or be seen anywhere on the Internet.

Family Guy

There are actually two unaired pilots for this show. One was presented in 1995 by Seth McFarlane, and whilst it has the same general ideas is a completely different show. The next was presented in 1996, and that’s the one closer to our hearts as the original Family Guy pilot.

What else is different:

As far as we can tell, the pilot to preview to the network is only about 8 minutes.
Stewie is wearing a different colored outfit, green and purple instead of yellow and red.
Louis has blonde hair.
Meg is actually fairly better looking.
Chris has a deeper voice, and is really, really ghetto.

Where to watch: Youtube
Also watch: The first 1995 presentation of Family Guy. (Beware, adult language in first few seconds)

We may be biased because we love the shows as they are now, but all these changes are definitely weird to see!

When you see these changes, do you think you would have preferred the unaired pilots to ones that were aired?

  • Guest

    um the youtube link for family guy brings me to another hypable article…

    • http://Hypable.com/ James Bean

      Thank you for letting us know! It’s fixed now. 

      • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

        no … its not

  • Guest

    I can’t watch the Big Bang one, all it is is an ad repeating over and over.

    • http://Hypable.com/ James Bean

      What browser are you using? That may be the problem. The video you should be linked to doesn’t have an ad. 

  • Kate

    I’d love it if they released the GOT pilot. I want to see what it was like to have the different actors in the roles…

  • tG

    the big bang theory pilot sounds so much better than the actual show
    #bbt sucks

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Mangum/1820064015 Joey Mangum

      How much of the actual show have you watched? I feel like the first few episodes are kind of lame, but it gets more amusing as it goes.

      • tG

         always just found it really overrated and not that funny. Nerd humour is handled so much better in other shows that deserve the fame bbt has. Most of the humour in bbt is based on just mentioning comic book or nerdy subjects and being all ‘nerds like that, they can relate to this’! Other shows like community do it so much better and they deserve the fame so much more.

    • http://twitter.com/hmycx2 Helen Chang

      I just watched the pilot… i didn’t like it at all. 

  • http://hypable.com Selina

    I’ve seen the unaired Buffy pilot so many times it’s embarrassing. I love Alyson Hannigan so I’m glad they changed Willow, but it’s kind of sad they didn’t want to feature an overweight character on the show :/

  • http://geekgirl101.tumblr.com/ GeekGirl101

    The Charmed Pilot was off, Alissa Milano brought the character to life, with the other girl, Phoebe was flat and annoying.

     And the BBT pilot is bad. The actual show is hilarious.

  • Glaciusx

    The BTVS pilot was a DISASTER. I saw it a few months back and when I saw…that girl as Willow I was like “WHAT THE EFF?!” because Willow is my all time favorite character and she was seriously stomping all over her. Also, the lack of Angel and Joyce got me seriously pissed off! The pilot had a very cheesy feel to it, kind of like the movie. I’m so glad they recast and redid it because that pilot would’ve gotten the show cancelled before the second episode was even conceived. :x

    • Sarah

      I agree. I was obsessed with Buffy as a teenager, and I remember watching the unaired pilot and just thanking the Lord that Joss Whedon knew what he was doing… And knew when what he was doing sucked.

  • Laura Jones

    Big Bang Theory….no no no… It needs Penny! and Howard and Raj! that other girl is not likable at all! The pilot isn’t good. It seemed WAY old fashioned for 2006! It’s perfect the way it is! and it’s super weird hearing Sheldon talking about seeing naked women and that he had sex!!

    …it must be one of those parallel universes he talks about!

    • Jon12058

      The link doesn’t work :( Where can you watch the Big Bang pilot?

  • Jack

    You forgot LOST, the original pilot had Jack being killed by the smoke monster and Kate taking the main protagonist role.

    • http://twitter.com/greeneggsplusam Sam

       I don’t think that pilot was ever actually made, it was just the original plans for the show

  • Mac-e-doodle

    I was surprised the Sherlock unaired pilot wasn’t on here. That was so much different.

    • Mandie Lenar

      How do you find it

      • Guest

        It’s on the DVD as a special feature.

  • antonia31

    Roy Dotrice would have been so nice as grand maester pycelle in GoT since he narrates the audiobooks. 

    Maybe they’ll bring him in as one of the new characters we meet in the next few books. I think it would be great to have him involved in the show after he’s dedicated so much time to reading these books for listeners.

    • Kate

      He has been involved. He played Hallyne, the pyromancer who made the wildfire.

      • antonia31

        Oh I had no idea! That’s awesome!

  • SnatcherGirl

    Jennifer Ehle!?!?!? Waaaaaaaat????? Love her, but that is a change I’m glad they made xD

  • Phantomoca

    You forgot the unaired Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Pilot.

    • Andrew_ww

      I wasn’t forgotten. It probably wouldn’t have been added anyways because this isn’t a list of every single show with unaired pilots.

  • Knottsville

    Wow. Part of that BBT Pilot felt like a twisted version of Weird Science somehow. So happy with the changes they made.

  • Marly

    There’s an unaired “Sherlock” pilot. I haven’t seen the whole thing but it doesn’t seem to be that different. Just if anyone was interested. I’m sure you could find it online somewhere.

    • Kate

      It’s also included on the DVD. And it’s different in an…odd sort of way.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

      It’s shorter, far less stylish and the characters interact in a slightly different way. There was also no Mycroft, and Sherlock got drugged by the villain. 

  • Kay

    Charmed! I just got so happy when I saw that, it was one of my favorite shows when it was on.

    • http://forgiveyourmind.tumblr.com/ Tariq

      I was hoping this would stir up some of the Charmed fans on this site! It was such a great show. 

  • frezb

    sorry if i sound ignorant but is that kaley cuoco in the charmed picture? was she ever in the show?!

    • http://twitter.com/Super_Lulu1 Lupita

      Yes that is kaley cuoco & if I remember correctly she showed up in season 8 :D

    • http://forgiveyourmind.tumblr.com/ Tariq

      She absolutely was! She was in the last season and she was amazing in it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rachel-Whelen/514317641 Rachel Whelen

    The unaired pilot for Dollhouse is absolutely BRILLIANT! It is so depressing when you compare it to crap pilot that actually aired. I think the show might have had a slightly better shot of surviving if they aired the original instead. :(

  • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

    I’m so happy to see some Charmed love! I freaking adore that show :) 

  • Sabithseven

    i think the link for the big bang theory might have stopped working

  • Jill

    I just watched The Big Bang Theory pilot. Sooo weird. I’m glad they went a different way with the show.

  • fallout fan

    wow the pilot episode of big bang theory looked so dark and old, the appartmen was way down the basement instead of the top, the show would have never sruvived more than one season if they had gone for that pilot, we cant have big bang theory without rajesh and howard

  • Louis Cypher

    Threes Company , I know blast from the past , has 2 unique pilots. The 1st one both the girls are different and the 2nd only Janet is the same. They live in a totally different place , it’s fairly drastically different. I’m sure they are on youtube if not the pbay certainly does , worth checking out and not really terrible either.

  • Travi$ The ACTavist

    Very off topic, but has anyone ever heard of the unaired but sneaked in episode rumored to be about (first, its Regular Show off of Cartoon Network.) Rigby being fired then killing Benson and himself? Heard of it this morning and it sounded creepier than ever.

  • Shelly

    Rejeesh? I think you mean Rajesh (or why not just go for Raj?)

  • Mickey

    dont forget that the original pilot for TBBT had a difrent theme song which consisted of the word “SCIENCE!”. so lame lol. also they arent living in an apartement and instead in an actual house. I could go on, but i wont spoil it all, incase u plan on watching it

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