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Unsold television pilots, 1955 through 1989…
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Unsold television pilots, 1955 through 1989 (1990)

by Lee Goldberg

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Unsold Television Pilots: 1955-1989 by Lee Goldberg is a 2015 Adventures in Television publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Richard Dreyfuss as Yossarian, in catch 22? Michelle Phillips and Tanya Roberts as undercover cops? ( Ladies in Blue- 1980) Hulk Hogan as a private detective? ( Goldie and the Bears)

Oh my goodness, this book was great. I never could have envisioned a list style book with such rare information! There really is a lot to digest here, so it's even more impressive how detailed and organized the book is.

Beginning with the year 1955- The list is broken down into several parts. For example: ABC/ Comedy or ABC/Drama and so on.

Whenever possible, the author list for each pilot - the production company, the writers, directors, and producers , as well as the cast of characters and the actors/actresses who portrayed them, and a brief synopsis.

It was fun to see how television changed from the 1950's - 1989. I could see trends, changes in social mores, and how many ideas were hashed and re-hashed with remakes and revivals- such as “The New Leave it to Beaver”, which had several incarnations before it actually stuck around for a few seasons.

Although, presented in a list style formation, it is still like watching history unfold and as a pop culture enthusiast, I found this fascinating.

While, many would like to see a newer version on this list with pilots listed from 1990- to present day, myself included, I thought the decades explored here were very interesting and insightful, plus I learned a lot about television in the 50's and 60's which was before my time.

You will never find another compilation of television facts this comprehensive, nor will you find this information anywhere else all listed in one place. For those who are unaware, this book was a huge hit when it was originally published and was the basis of several television specials, and was featured on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

This book can be a little bit of a time suck, if you aren't careful. Once I picked it up, an hour passed by before I knew it. Having said that, I would recommend reading it a little at a time, and it's not absolutely necessary to comb through it from cover to cover either, as it makes a great reference guide, and is perfect for the television zealot.

It is obvious the author is a television aficionado, having started to work on this list while he was still a child! So, it goes without saying this list was compiled with painstaking research, and took years to organize and complete. I am thrilled to see it now available in digital format, so I can carry it with me anywhere I go and impress the most fanatical of TV worshipers with my rare and unique knowledge.

Overall, I found this book very interesting and entertaining. It made for some interesting conversations with my family, and prompted a few “where are they now” internet searches. Again, I recommend this one to any student of television, to trivia and list lovers, to those who enjoy performance arts books, pop culture or nostalgia. ( )
  gpangel | Aug 19, 2015 |
An amusing book, but nowhere near as comprehensive and useful as the full hardback edition released several years earlier by McFarland. ( )
  cannellfan | Nov 26, 2007 |
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To Karen, Linda, and Tod... and to Mom, who let me watch
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A television pilot is a sample episode of a proposed weekly series.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0595189644, Paperback)

A remarkable encyclopedia.TV Guide A must-browse for media freaks.USA Today Irresistible and enthralling.Hartford Courant Full of fools gold and genuine TV treasures.The New York PostThe three hundred best and worst TV series ideas known in the industry as pilots that never made it to primetime. From the adventures of a Samurai D.A. to the antics of an invisible alien baby, Lee Goldberg details the greatest shows you never saw.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:47 -0400)

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McFarland

An edition of this book was published by McFarland.

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