Greatest TV Pilots

Greatest TV Pilots: ‘Breaking Bad,’ bringing a commonplace family man into a vast, seedy criminal underworld

Who is Walter White, really? As we careen ever closer to the final eight episodes of the best drama currently airing on television, AMC’s Breaking Bad, it’s fair to assume we no longer have to ponder the answer to that question too deeply. When its pilot aired in January of 2008, however, we were presented with a man of extremes. On one side of the spectrum, Walter White was a milquetoast high-school chemistry teacher, someone who hoped he could impress upon the youth of Albuquerque, New Mexico the importance of science in the everyday world.

The Cosby Show cast, season 1

Greatest TV Pilots: The Cosby Show’s “Theo’s Economic Lesson” captures the essence and humor of family life

The standup comedy boom of the 1980s led to a glut of network sitcoms centered around standup comedians. It was a pretty straightforward formula- find a popular or promising standup, have them create and star in a half-hour comedy based on their material, and sit back and count your money when it becomes a hit. Of course, at least as many series missed as hit, but that didn’t stop network television from being littered with mostly male comedian-based family comedies.

Suits Harvey

Greatest TV Pilots: Suits

Legal dramas have always been a dime a dozen on TV so it’s pretty easy to dismiss USA’s Suits but within in the first few minutes of the pilot episode viewers can tell that Suits isn’t quite like other shows on television.

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