Brilliant but Cancelled

The Trio channel has an interesting lineup this week, featuring pilots for television shows that were brilliant ideas, but for one reason or another, were passed on or cancelled by the major networks.

The network also presents a flagship documentary Brilliant but Cancelled, which follows the process of creating a script, filming a pilot, and the process by which the networks selects which shows get placed in the fall lineup, and which shows become just another carcass on the road to the new fall season.

An interesting footonote to the process is the timing of the fall season itself. It seems originally, the fall premiere process was built in order to sell ads to the big three carmakers, so the new shows could be sponsored by the new models of cars, which were always introduced in the fall.

The process of pitching a pilot is not unlike the venture capital process, with each pilot like a new startup, and a business plan taking the place of the script.

The question is, how many brilliant business plans have become roadkill since the end of the Internet bubble and the era of risk-averse venture capitalism?