Every year a good ammount of pilots are produced by all our beleved networks and cable networks. Of all the produced ones only 20% are picked up to go to series, sometimes pilots are scrapped due to quality or simply because there's no viable timeslot available anymore. So each year about 20-30 hours of television are archived to NEVER see the light of day. That has been the way things have been going in the television industry for years now. However we have reached the century of internet television.
Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu or crackle many networks have boarded the train and offer their own streaming services, with little success one might add. ABC offers a variety of shows on ABC.com, FOX, NBC, CBS do the very same while theCW has created theCWSeed for original programming.
All of these online services limp far behind the success Netflix or Hulu had but why is that? Is it the fact that they offer only a small chunk of shows? Or is it the lack of original programming? The latter might be dealt by repurposing not picked up pilots as web series, creating tons of original content that fans of certain writers or actors might turn into a success.
How to repurpose a pilot into a webseries?
Every produced pilot is to 80% finished, several FX shots might be missing from the product but the pilots are in a presentable state to convince execs to pick them up. The running time runs from 50-60 minutes without any cut scenes from the product (usually a television episode runs at 40 minutes only because scenes deemed redundant are cut to make more time for advertising space, in this case such scenes wouldn't have to be cut to make place for ads). As the average running time for a web-series is 7-10 minutes each network could get a 6-8 episode long mini-webseries out of their not picked up pilots to draw people to their online platform. Why 6-8 if the running time of the whole product is only at 60 minutes max.? Because opening credits and post show credits aren't calculated in there. Taking 7 minutes of footage from the original pilot and adding a 40 second opening credits sequence plus a 120 second long credit sequence would catapult each episode to a web-appropriate runtime of about 10 minutes per episode.
Why would people want to see these web-shows?
A television pilot usually needs a draw in the first place, be it a big name attatched to the show or a license big enough to warrant the production to take off in the first place. Some DC/Marvel property is in the mix as well as shows that feature semi-big names like Anthony Stewart Head or John Barrowman.
So here's a list of pilots perfectly fit for that concept sorted by digital network based on their production companies:
Tales from the Dark Side (2015)
Reasons to watch: based on the classic horror anthology from the early 90s and starring Lyndie Greenwood (Sleepy Hollow)
Dead People (2015)
Reasons to watch: starred Alexandra Chando (The Lying Game)
Cheerleader Death Squad (2015)
Reasons to watch: produced by Neal Bear (Under the Dome) and starring Alan Van Sprang (Reign) and Gabriella Wright (currently in theatres with Transporter: Refueled)
The Wyoming Story (2010)
Reasons to watch: starring Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Spin City)
H.M.S.: White Coat (2010)
Reasons to watch: starring Megan Boone (The Blacklist), Sarah Jones (Alcatraz), Steven Strait (The Covenant) and Kevin Hanchard (Orphan Black)
Reasons to watch: starring Allison Miller (Terra Nova), David Gallagher (7th Heaven) and Josh Bowman (Revenge)
The Selection (2012-2013)
Reasons to watch: 2 sperate pilots with overall 120 minutes as a whole, starring Aimee Teegarden (Star-Crossed), Arden Cho (Teen Wolf), William Moseley (Narnia Trilogy), Merritt Patterson (The Royals), Michael Malarkey (The Vampire Diaries) and Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy).
Reasons to watch: Scott Eastwood (Gran Torino), Elizabeth Henstridge (Marvel's Agents of SHIELD), Malese Jow (Star-Crossed), Hannah New (Black Sails) and Eka Darville (Marvel's Jessica Jones)
Joey Dakota (2012)
Reasons to watch: starring Erich Bergen (Madame Secretary), Craig Horner (Legend of the Seeker) and Scott Wolf (Party of Five)
Reasons to watch: starring Matt Barr (Sleepy Hollow), Patricia Wettig (Brothers & Sisters) and Gregory Alan Williams (Terminator: Genisys)
Reasons to watch: starring Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead), Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist) and Bianca Lawson (Buffy).
Reasons to watch: starring Titus Welliver (Bosch), Rachel Skarsten (Birds of Prey) and Luci Griffiths (True Blood).
Danni Lowinski (2011)
Reasons to watch: based on the popular eurpoean crime comedy, starring Carla Gallo (Bones).
Cooper and Stone (2011)
Reasons to watch: starring Alexandra Breckenridge (Family Guy), Vanessa Ferlito (Graceland), Riley Smith (True Blood), Rotimi Akinosho (Power) and Christopher Larkin (The 100).
Company Town (2013)
Reasons to watch: starring Stella Maeve (Chicago PD.) and Ryan Sypek (Wildfire).
Reasons to watch: starring Johnny Simmons (Klondike), Sarah Smyth (Cedar Cove), Olivia Cheng (Marco Polo), John Benjamin Hickey (Manhattan), Brian Markinson (Continuum) and Eka Darville (Marvel's Jessica Jones).
Body Politic (2009)
Reasons to watch: starring Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars), Minka Kelly (Almost Human), Gabrielle Union (Being Mary Jane), Brian Austin Green (90210), Tim Matheson (Hart of Dixie), Ben Shenkman (Royal Pains)
reasons to watch: building on the Chase/D'Angelo dynamic, starring Chevy Chase (Community) and Bevery D'Angelo (Christmas Vacation).
The Adversaries (2015)
reasons to watch: starring Terry O'Quinn (Lost) and Kristen Hager (Being Human).
The Advocates (2015)
reasons to watch: starring Kim Raver (24) and Coby Bell (Burn Notice)
Broad Squad (2015)
reasons to watch: starring Devon Sawa (Final Destination), Rutina Wesley (True Blood) and Lauren Ambrose (Torchwood: Mircale Day)
reasons to watch: starring Kristin Bauer Van Straten (True Blood), Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries), Adrian Pasdar (Heroes) and Parminder Nagra (The Blacklist)
reasons to watch: starring Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible 4) and Adam Rodriguez (CSI: Miami).
reasons to watch: starring Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption)
reasons to watch: starring Kevin Alejandro (True Blood), David Straithirn (Alphas) and Edwin Hodge (As Above, So Below)
Dangereous Liaisons (2014)
reasons to watch: starring Katie Holmes (Dawson's Creek), Melissa George (Alias), Oded Fehr (The Mummy) and Rufus Sewell (The Pillars of the Earth).
reasons to watch: starring Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Live Free or Die Hard) and Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian).
Sea of Fire (2014)
reasons to watch: starring Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Michael Turcco (Battlestar Galactica) and Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl).
reasons to watch: starring Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Gotham), Greg Gunberg (Alias) and Eloise Mumford (50 Shades of Grey).
reasons to watch: starring Odette Annabelle (Cloverfield), Dean Winters (OZ) and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek).
reasons to watch: Melissa George (Alias), Tom Ellis (Lucifer) and Seth Gabel (Fringe).
Murder in Manhattan (2013)
reasons to watch: starring Enver Gjokaj (Marvel's Agent Carter)
Big Thunder (2013)
reasons to watch: starring Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife) and Darren Shalhavi (Mortal Kombat: Legacy).
reasons to watch: starring Carla Cugino (Spy Kids), Greg Gunberg (Heroes) and Rockmund Dunbar (Prison Break).
reasons to watch: starring Emilie de Ravin (LOST), Ashley Greene (Twilight Franchise), Annabeth Gish (The X-Files) and Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace).
Beauty and the Beast: A Dark Tale (2012)
reasons to watch: Wendy Crewson (Saving Hope), F. Murray Abraham (Homeland) and Alan Dale (Captain America: The Winter Soldier).
Gilded Lilys (2013)
reasons to watch: starring John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood), Medeline Zima (Californication) and Sara Bolger (Once Upon a Time).
George Town (2011)
reasons to watch: starring Katie Cassidy (Arrow) and James Wolk (Zoo).
reasons to watch: starring Annie Wersching (24).
reasons to watch: starring Arielle Kebbell (The Vampire Diaries), Robbie Amell (The Flash), Terry O'Quinn (LOST) and Donal Logue (Gotham).
reasons to watch: starring Christopher Egan (Dominion), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise) and Tabret Betthel (Legend of the Seeker).
reasons to watch: starring Colin O'Donoghue (Once Upon A Time), Tony Curran (Underworld: Evolution), Angela Basset (American Horror Story), Bree Turner (Grimm) and Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
reasons to watch: starring Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) and Eion Bailey (Once Upon A Time)
Locke & Key (2011)
reasons to watch: Sarah Bolger (Once Upon A Time), Ksenia Solo (Lost Girl), Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural), Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) and Nick Stahl (Terminator: Rise of the Machines).
Exit Strategy (2015)
reasons to watch: Ethan Hawke (Good Kill) and Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan).
Weekends at Bellevue (2011)
reasons to watch: Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) and Xzibit (xXx: The Next Level).
reasons to watch: Cuba Gooding Jr. (Empire)
The List (2013)
reasons to watch: Michael Peña (Ant-Man)
reasons to watch: Emma Roberts (Scream 4) and Ian Anthony Dale (Mortal Kombat: Legacy).
reasons to watch: Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace)
reasons to watch: John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Hal Ozsan (Fallen) and Erick Avari (The Mummy)
Urban Cowboy (2015)
reasons to watch: James Belushi (According to Jim)
Studio City (2015)
reasons to watch: Heather Graham (The Hangover), Riley Smith (True Blood) and Eric McCormack (Perception).
Hail Mary (2012)
reasons to watch: starring Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting)
reasons to watch: starring Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight) and Rhys Coiro (Hostages).
Widow Detective (2012)
reasons to watch: starring Jennifer Beals (The L Word)
reasons to watch: starring Mira Sorvino (Mimic) and Emily Meade (Trespass).
The Surgeon General (2013)
reasons to watch: starring Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter Franchise), Beth Riesgraf (Leverage), Mike Colter and Clancy Brown (Sleepy Hollow).
The Ordained (2013)
reasons to watch: starring Emmanuelle Chriqui (The Crow: Wicked Prayer), Charlie Cox (Marvel's Daredevil), Sam Neill (Jurrasic Park), Jorge Garcia (LOST) and Fredric Lehne (Supernatural).
Beverly Hills Cop (2013)
reasons to watch: starring B.J. Britt (Marvel's Agents of SHIELD), Gideon Emery (Teen Wolf), Brandon T. Jackson (Percy Jackson) and Eddie Murphy (Shrek Franchise).
For Justice (2015)
reasons to watch: starring Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln) and Mario van Peebles (Ali).
reasons to watch: starring Daniel Sharman (The Originals).
Red Zone (2014)
reasons to watch: starring Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace).
reasons to watch: starring Charlie Cox (Marvel's Daredevil), Maggie Grace (Taken Franchise), John Cusak (Hot Thub Time Machine), Jodi Lyn O'Keefe (Prison Break) and A.J Buckley (CSI).
Anatomy of Violence (2013)
reasons to watch: starring Amber Tamblyn (Django Unchained) and Skeet Ulrich (Jericho)
The Advocates (2012)
reasons to watch: starring Mandy Moore (Tangled) and Ben McKenzie (Gotham).
Tin Man (2014)
reasons to watch: starring Shaun Toub (Iron Man).
reasons to watch: starring Ashley Judd (Divergent) and Jack Coleman (Heroes).
Babylon Fields (2014)
reasons to watch: starring Virginia Madsen (Numer 23) and Skeet Ulrich (Scream).
The Curse of the Fuentes Women (2015)
reasons to watch: starring Sonia Braga (Alias).
reasons to watch: starring Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) and Chris Zylka (The Amazing Spider-Man).
I Am Victor (2013)
reasons to watch: starring John Stamos (Fuller House) and Metthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo).
The Sixth Gun (2013)
reasons to watch: starring Pedro Pascal (Narcos), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta Compton) and Elena Satine (Revenge).
Mockingbird Lane (2012)
reasons to watch: starring Jerry O'Connel (The Defenders).
Midnight Sun (2012)
reasons to watch: starring Julia Stiles (The Bourne Identity), Titus Welliver (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Michael Raymond James (True Blood), Danielle Pineda (The Originals), Emma Bell (The Walking Dead) and Alexia Fast (Jack Racher).
The Frontier (2012)
reasons to watch: starring Ethan Embry (Grace & Frankie), Bridget Regan (John Wick) and Clancy Brown (Starship Troopers).
reasons to watch: starring Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic 4) and Jason Ritter (Freddy vs. Jason).
Beautiful People (2012)
reasons to watch: starring Frances Conroy (American Horror Story) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters).
Bad Girls (2012)
reasons to watch: starring Amy Smart (Crank), Jamie Pressley (Mom), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (True Blood) and Karolina Wydra (Wicked City).
Wonder Woman (2011)
reasons to watch: starring Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Cary Elwes (Saw), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones), Justin Bruenig (Knight Rider) and Elizabeth Hurley (Austin Powers).
17th Precinct (2011)
reasons to watch: starring Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) and Esai Morales (From Dusk Till Dawn).
reasons to watch: starring Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight).
It's quite clear that there's a lot of unused film material for shows that have the potential to deliver hours of entertainment.
What do you think? Should networks re-cut their not picked up pilots as web-shows for their internet streaming services?
Some Footage from unused pilots:
as the pilots that end up being scrapped end up in the archive they rarely have any footage see the light of day. However some scenes have leaked thanks to actors or other factors. So we can get a glimpse of the state the final project is in. As clearly visible: a lot of stuff is actually more than usable and is just waiting to be released.