1:05 pm EDT, June 28, 2012

Unaired pilots: Five very different episodes of shows we know so well

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.

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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?

We want to hear your thoughts on this topic!
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