6 TV Episodes You Didn’t Know Were Backdoor Pilots
Backdoor pilots are episodes in shows that serve to introduce spin-off series. Networks will sometimes do this so that they can use the ratings and viewer feedback from the episode to determine whether or not it is worth it to turn the episode into a series. Many of us have probably seen backdoor pilot episodes, but in case you saw one and didn’t know what it was, here are 6 TV episodes that you didn’t know were backdoor pilots:
6. Smallville – Aqua
Smallville’s season five episode “Aqua” was not supposed to be a backdoor pilot for an Aquaman television spinoff; however, as work on the episode progressed, it became clear that the character had potential for his own series. While Aquaman went into production, the show was ultimately not picked up by The CW network, but it was later released on iTunes.
5. Who’s the Boss? – Charmed Lives, Mona and Living Dolls
Who’s the Boss? had three backdoor pilots featured on the show. The first backdoor pilot was the season two finale episode titled “Charmed Lives.” The show was going to star Fran Drescher and Donna Dixon, but the series was not picked up. The second spinoff was going to be called, “Mona,” and the backdoor pilot was featured during the last two episodes of season three. ABC ended up changing their minds about the Mona spinoff because they weren’t sure what her departure would mean for Who’s the Boss?, so the episode ended with Mona returning to Angela’s home instead of staying in New York. The last backdoor pilot episode was “Living Dolls” during season five. The show, also called Living Dolls, premiered in 1989 and starred Leah Remini, Michael Learned, and Halle Berry, but it only lasted for one season.