Listen Live
Rickey Smiley Birthday Beach Blowout 2024
Rickey Smiley Morning Show Featured Video
Pile of Old Televisions with Static Noise Screens

Source: asbe / Getty


A TV pilot is essentially the first episode of a television series. It serves multiple purposes: it introduces the main characters, establishes the show’s premise, and sets the tone for the series. The pilot is a critical piece of content used to sell the show to networks and streaming platforms.

RELATED: Did You Know There Was A Coming To America TV Show? [Watch]

RELATED: 9 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About “Martin”

There are several different types of pilots

  • Presentation Pilot – A shorter version of the pilot, usually around 10-15 minutes, showcasing the concept and key scenes to give executives a taste of the show without the full investment required for a standard pilot.
  • Backdoor Pilot – An episode of an existing show that serves as a pilot for a potential spin-off. This allows networks to test new ideas with an established audience.
  • Traditional Pilot – A full-length episode (typically 30 minutes for a comedy or an hour for a drama) that serves as the first episode of the series and is fully produced and edited.

Every year, TV networks can receive hundreds of elevator pitches and scripts for new shows from writers and producers. For creators and producers, the pilot is a sales tool. Networks and streaming platforms use the pilot to decide whether a show is worth investing in. A compelling pilot can secure funding and a spot on the programming slate. Pilots often serve as test runs to gauge audience reactions and gather feedback. This can lead to adjustments in casting, storylines, or pacing before the full series is produced.



Some of your favorite stars in TV and Film have appeared in pilots who have made it to the screen or didn’t see the light of day until discovery. For those who get a series order, the first season will tell if the show will become a staple in viewers’ homes or forgotten amongst the other failed shows and pilots.

To give you an idea of the crapshoot that this could be, here’s a group of failed shows and pilots. Some feature stars like Vivica A. Fox, Cedric The Entertainer, and Laurence Fishburne in prominent roles. Others you might see on this list may shock you that it failed and one at least will feature two stars who went on to star in two of the most iconic Black TV sitcoms in history.


Watch and let us know what you think!

Rickey Smiley Birthday Beach Blowout 2024

Source: Reach Media / Radio One Digital

Reserve your spot for the biggest party of the year!  It’s Rickey Smiley’s Birthday Beach Blow Out happening August 9-11th in Hollywood, Fl at the luxurious Diplomat Hotel.  Come celebrate Rickey Smiley’s birthday with non-stop comedy, concerts, BBQs, pool parties, and much more.   This is a party you don’t want to miss!


The post Grab Some Popcorn and Watch These Failed Black TV Shows and Pilots appeared first on Black America Web.

Grab Some Popcorn and Watch These Failed Black TV Shows and Pilots  was originally published on

1. Rhythm & Blues

A show built around Black Radio! Yes, but the afternoon show host…

Shouts to Anne Marie Hosford, Miquel Nunez and Vanessa Bell Calloway though,

2. Getting Personal

Vivica A. Fox (who seems to be a regular in this post) and Duane Martin reunite from there “Out All Night” days. This time Fox is a =new Creative Director of a Chicago-based advertisement company, and the boss of a guy she knew from a bad date (Martin).

We also get appearances from Reginald C. Hayes (Girlfriends) and Wendy Raquel Robinson (Steve Harvey Show). The Fox TV Show lasted 2 seasons and Fox was nominated for and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1999.

3. 704 Hauser

 704 Hauser is a spin off of the classic “All In The Family.” Starring John Amos, the show was canceled after five episodes

4. Sunday in Paris

One look at the series and its cast and you will wonder why this show went unsold in 1991. Debbie Allen heads the cast with icons Diahann Carroll, Jenifer Lewis and John Witherspoon. We also get young Jurnee Smollett and Essence Atkins. This should have popped.

5. Tall Hopes

This CBS series starred George Wallace, Anna Maria Horsford, Kenny Blank and Terrence Howard before Hollywood stardom, inventions and patents

6. Built to Last

A sitcom based in Washington, D.C. that centers around a family-run business starring Oscar and Emmy Award Nominee Paul Winfield, Geoffrey Owens (Cosby Show) & a young Jeremy Suarez (Bernie Mac Show)

7. Arsenio

The series starred Arsenio Hall and Vivica A. Fox. It aired from March 5 to April 23, 1997, with a total of 7 episodes produced. Hall starred as Michael Atwood, the host of a sports cable show on ASTV in Atlanta. Michael is also newly married man with his lawyer wife Vivian Deveaux Atwood.

8. The New Odd Couple

In this version of the hit TV Show, Felix and Oscar were both African-American college buddies who met in the 1950s. Felix was portrayed by Ron Glass and Oscar was portrayed by Demond Wilson of “Sanford & Son” fame.

9. New Attitude

Based off the famed stage play Beauty Shop by Shelly Garrett, New Attitude starred Sheryl Lee Ralph, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, singer Morris Day and a young Lorenz Tate. The show ran for 6 episodes.

10. Heart and Soul

What if we told you that Uncle Phil was Gina’s father? Nah but Tisha Campbell played an aspiring singer whose dad was played by James Avery. Morris Day plays a Record company executive looking to break Campbell. Both Campbell and Avery would go on to play major roles in two of the most iconic Black TV Shows of all time

11. In The House

This isn’t the version with LL Cool J and Debbie Allen, this was a “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” spinoff with Don Cheadle and Vivica A. Fox

12. The Robert Guillaume Show

TV icon Robert Guillaume stars as a single father who starts an interracial romance with his White secretary. TV wasn’t ready for this in 1989 and canceled the show after 1 season.

13. Cedric

Before “The Neighborhood” and after “The Steve Harvey Show,” Cedric the Entertainer got his chance at his own show. Cedric portrayed the man of the house who has to get used to his wife becoming the main breadwinner after her hobby turns into a multimillion-dollar venture.

14. The Righteous Apples

Public television’s first domestically produced focused on five Boston-area high school musicians, who in a troubled world, seek to help people in distress. We get our first look at Mykel T Williamson along with appearances from Ernest Thomas (What’s Happening) and Ron O’Neal (Superfly)

15. Irene

Fresh off of “Fame,” Irene Cara starred as Irene Cannon. We also get to see a young Keenan Ivory Wayans.

16. The Six O’Clock Follies

If you missed the very popular TV Show “M*A*S*H” then they tried it with this one but it didn’t work. This show starred a young Laurence “Larry” Fishburne

17. Sugar and Spice

Sugar and Spice starred Loretta Devine and Vickilyn Reynolds and only lasted a handful of episodes.

18. At Ease

At Ease feels like a Black version of Gomer Pyle (Google It) and starred Jimmie “JJ” Walker. 

19. Piece of Cake

T.K. Carter and Cleavant Derricks played Two brother-in-laws must run the family bakery, despite their personality differences. Vanessa Bell Calloway also appears in this show.

20. Kingpins

Dorian Harewood stars as a father who runs a Bowling Alley with his Daughter. This was never gonna work but we got David Alan Grier in this CBS pilot.


Robert Guillaume is back on the list as a detective sent to Pacific Station in Venice, California. Somehow this got 10 episodes.

22. He’s The Mayor

A Black Mayor… lasted for a season though,

23. Bustin’ Loose

Bustin’ Loose was based off the Richard Pryor 1981 film. The TV Show featured Jimmie “JJ” Walker.

24. Charlie & Co.

Flip Wilson as Bill Cosby
Gladys Knight as Phylicia Rashad 

Ok, we are joking but CBS did make this show as their version of The Cosby Show but it didn’t last but a season. We did get to see young stars Kristoff St. John and Jaleel White before the Family Matters fame.