Pilot show cast changes

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Anthology123, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    An interesting topic I thought would be fun to discuss. There are shows that made it to broadcast, but did not follow intact into its first season. Roles that did not make it, actors that did not make it and roles were re-cast, or actors who played one role, then were re-cast to play another role, and so on.

    I'll start it off by citing one of the more well-known series, Star Trek.
    Its first pilot with Jeffrey Hunter did not get accepted, but a second pilot starring William Shatner was accepted. In the interim, only Leonard Nimoy would make it into the 2nd pilot still as Mr. Spock, while Majel Barrett, not in the 2nd pilot would eventually be re-cast in the series.
    Then the 2nd pilot, one actor, Paul Fix playing Dr. Piper would not make it to the series, being replaced by DeForest Kelly as Dr. McCoy. George Takei would be stay as Mr. Sulu, but his role would change from Physicist to Helmsman and Mr. Scott played by James Doohan would retain his same role.
     
  2. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Location:
    NY
    The Dick Van Dyke pilot featured Carl Reiner and was called "Head of the Family"
     
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  3. BadJack

    BadJack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    The "Seinfeld" pilot has a sassy waitress character and no Elaine.

    It's edited so he's barely in what aired, but the pilot of "The Monkees" has a manager character.
     
  4. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    A more recent example: Laura Fraser played Jessica Brody in the pilot of Homeland, but was replaced for the pilot that actually aired. She went on to play Lydia in Breaking Bad.
     
  5. JFS3

    JFS3 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Podunk
    My understanding was that Hunter turned down the role after consulting with his wife.

    It seems like a large number of shows go through changes between the pilot and the commencement of the regular series. I know that there were three diferent pilot episodes shot for Three's Company, each featuring a different lineup in regards to the female co-stars.
     
  6. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Newsradio -
    Catherine Duke was originally cast with Ella Joyce in the pilot, who would get replace in the series by Khandi Alexander. The handyman, who was Rick, played by Greg Lee would get replaced with the character Joe Garelli played by Joe Rogan. There was also a sports anchor Jeff, played by Wallace Langham, who would not make to the series.
     
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  7. Commander Lucius Emery

    Commander Lucius Emery Forum Resident

    The pilot for "Dobie Gillis" at the end introduces characters who will be in later episodes. One of them is Dobie's older brother Davey. When they did have Davey on it a couple episodes the first season, they thought it would be a good idea to cast Dwayne Hickman's brother Darryl in the role; I'm pretty sure Darryl was not in the group of future actors shown. But they quickly decided having an older, wiser brother didn't work and Davey was an early fore runner of Chuck Cunningham..disappearing without a trace.

    "Combat!" originally had both Rick Jason and Vic Morrow as sergeants and a lot more competitive with each other. Robert Pirosh was a sergeant in WWII so he thought that way. When it got picked up as a series, Robert Altman came on board. He was an officer in WWII and felt you couldn't have a military drama without officers, so Jason's character got changed to lieutenant and was a lot more serious. They edited the pilot into an early episode about the D Day landings and added a prologue about "hey, remember when we landed and Lieutenant Jason was still a sergeant?"

    Babylon 5 replaced the doctor and the first officer as well as changing the appearance of a couple of the aliens.
     
  8. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Empty Nest was a spin-off of Golden Girls, with one of their episodes, "Empty Nests" being a proto-pilot. It had starred Rita Moreno and Paul Dooley, with other actors playing the daughter, and brother of the Rita Moreno character, along with the neighbor played by David Leisure (named Oliver). When the series finally aired, it was revamped completely, with the cast of Richard Mulligan as a Pediatrician, and Dinah Manoff and Kristy McNichol as his adult daughters who decide to move back in. David Leisure was the only actor to stay in the series, still as the neighbor, but now called Charlie. The set for the house in the Golden Girls episode was used for the regular series.
     
  9. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    Gilligan's Island: The pilot featured a high school teacher and two secretaries. The characters (and the actors who played them) were replaced by The Professor, Ginger, and Mary Ann. If you get the DVD box set of the first season it features the original pilot.

    Beyond Westworld: The pilot featured Judith Chapman. She was replaced in the regular series by Connie Sellecca as a different character.

    The above confirmed via Wikipedia.
     
  10. feinstei9415

    feinstei9415 Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Bend, IN
    "The Waltons" pilot was "The Homecoming" movie and featured all of the original kids and the cow, but all of the adult characters except for the grandmother were replaced....

    "Happy Days" pilot was an episode of "Love, American Style" called "Love and the Happy Days" which featured a different cast except for Marion Ross (Mom), Anson Williams (Potsie), and Ronnie Howard (Richie). Potsie was also a much more major role in the pilot. I believe that when they cast the regular TV show, they made a tremendous mistake by not casting Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan) who was in the pilot episode.
     
  11. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Hard to imagine a world with out Tony Dow and Hugh Beaumont. Here is the original Wally:

    [​IMG]

    Ward:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Three's Company (which had 2 pilots)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And in pilot # 2, the original Chrissy:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    The A-Team Pilot:

    [​IMG]

    The original Tommy on Alice:

    [​IMG]

    Mark Hamill on Eight Is Enough pilot:

    [​IMG]

    The original Gordon on Sesame Street pilot:

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. JFS3

    JFS3 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Podunk
    As per my above earlier post, it was my understanding there were three pilots - The first two (which you have shown), along with a third pilot featuring the cast that went on to star in the regular series.
     
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  15. MikeInFla

    MikeInFla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Yes I meant 3. The 3rd was the famous cast used in the actual show.
     
  16. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    CT
    Golden Girls had a cook in the pilot episode and was never heard from again after that.
     
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  17. Scopitone

    Scopitone Wanna be Archtop when I grow up

    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I don't know that The Homecoming: A Christmas Story was intended as a pilot for The Waltons - I think it just turned out to be popular enough to make into a series. But it's still weird to go back and watch Patricia Neal as Mama Walton if one's used to Ms Michael Learned.
     
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  18. will_b_free

    will_b_free Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Wonderfalls - Jaye's brother Aaron was played by Lee Pace in the series, but played by Adam Scott (of Party Down) in the pilot.

    The Bionic Woman - Becca Sommers, Jaime's teen-aged sister, in the pilot episode was not only a different actress (Mae Whitman) than in the series (Lucy Hale) but in the pilot the sister was deaf. Her deafness was a wonderful problem in that Jamie would have had to keep the existence of bionics secret from her even though they could be used to restore her hearing. Apparently a "network suggestion" was made to change the sister into the "young woman who is an expert computer hacker" cliche. The pilot episode was so much better than the aired version.

    True Blood - Sookie's best friend Tara was played by Brooke Kerr. She's in a deleted scene I think, and her take on the character, while fine, just didn't mesh well.
     
  19. will_b_free

    will_b_free Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    It's actually hard to find a series that doesn't have a major casting change.

    Charmed
    didn't have Alyssa Milano - see a few minutes here.
     
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  20. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    In the Bob Newhart Show, both Bob and Jerry were psychologists in the pilot, but the series had Jerry changed to an orthodontist. His character was still an orphan in both the pilot and series.
     
  21. Benno123

    Benno123 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    All in the Family had three pilots with different actors for the kids and Lionel. The first one was called Justice For All with Archie and Edith Justice. The next was Those Were The Days now with the Bunkers. The third was actually the first episode of the series we now know with that cast.
     
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  22. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    The Hogan's Heroes pilot (the only episode in B&W) featured Larry Hovis as Lt. Carter, a POW Hogan and his men were helping to escape.

    When the series got picked up, the character became Sgt. Carter, one of Hogan's men.

    The pilot also featured a Russian POW, and another American one played by Stewart Moss (of Star Trek fame). Both of those characters had intended to be regulars, but the actors declined.
     
  23. sloaches

    sloaches Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin Texas
    I remember reading somewhere that the original pilot for The Big Bang Theory had a different actress playing Penny, and that the character was written to be more street smart than the way she was later portrayed.
     
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  24. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    One of the all time miscastings was the Hazel pilot. Edward Andrews played the father, Mr. B or Baxter. Bellowing broad sly Edward Andrews with pretty Whitney Blake as his wife just did not work, [​IMG] so badly they should have stopped the filming, but they completed it. The pilot used to be on youtube but it has been removed. Edward Andrews was great in other parts on other shows, but just not right for this part. Don DeFore, best known then from Ozzie and Harriet as their neighbor Thorny, was just right, and looked much more like the comic panel character. The pilot script was then used as episode 23(?).
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Commander Lucius Emery

    Commander Lucius Emery Forum Resident

    "McHale's Navy" was first shown as a drama on the "Alcoa Premiere" anthology series in 1962 called "Seven against the Sea". The base was destroyed by Japanese and Mchale with a few survivors moved inland, mingled with the natives and sat waiting for a rescue. A by the book Lt Durham parachutes in to try to get McHale back in the war but he refuses. Eventually when a Marine battalion is trapped on a beach, McHale steals a Japanese PT boat and attacks a Japanese cruiser.

    When they decided to do it as a TV series, they went for a comedy angle along the lines of Phil Silvers "Sgt Bilko" character.
     
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