Noname Given wrote:
The "two pilots was unheard of at the time..." has always been GR BS. BOTH "Gilligan's Island" and "Lost In Space" got second pilot attempts before they finally aired.
Incorrect examples. Sherwood Schwartz kept resubmitting the Gilligan's Island pilot, and after drastically re-editing it, CBS finally picked it up. Bits of the pilot were cut into the first regular series episode, and the pilot's plot was recycled as the 1st season Christmas episode. Lost in Space has a single pilot, but changes were made for series production (addition of the Robot, Dr. Smith, etc.) and the pilot was chopped up and bits incorporated into various early episodes.
Neither is the same as shooting two wholly different pilots.
Well, yes and no. The fuirst GI pilot was screened to audiences twice - one was the cut the studio wanted and one was the cut SS wanted; and SS's cut tracked better. There was a second pilot commissioned and made (that SS picked up half the tab on - which replaced the character of "Bunny" (a secretary) with "Ginger" (the actress); but two completely seperate pilots were shot, even if some footage of the first was used in the second.)
As for "Lost In Space" - considering the complete change in background (to add "Dr. Smith" as the evil protagonist out to sabotage the mission and kill the Robinsons <--- He was a REALLY great and truly evil character in the first half of the season IMO - very different from the 'bumbling coward' character type he morphed into (at Harris' own request, which probably served him well as to keeping the job in later seasons); the point is, they shot A LOT of new footage and excised the majority of the original footage (used it in bits and pieces of later first season episodes here and there); but my point:
GR was trying to say it was a totally unheard of thing for Networks to essentially give shows where the first pilot failed to 'sell' a show on the first version -- to make it seem as "yes, the Network did see something 'special' in his 'vision'..."; when in fact, while not all that common, it was hardly anything unheard of in the TV business of the day.