Pilot TV started as an idea back in 1989.
To quickly explain what a Pilot is, it’s the very first episode of a TV show that may or may not become a TV series. It’s weird to contemplate, but imagine all those great TV series that you love, may never have happened if the Studio and Network passed on the Pilot episode. I’ve heard several stories of popular shows that almost never made it. Examples are Baywatch, Seinfeld and Breaking Bad.
I’m a re-recording sound mixer, and I’ve worked on several great Pilots (and some not so great ones). But I was frustrated that these Pilots never saw the light of day. The Studios and Networks decide when and what they pick up and turn into a series. It seemed like a random procedure. Even when they do greenlight a Pilot and it becomes a series, the show is pulled and cancelled after only two or three airings.
A Studio and Network need advertising dollars in order to make a show a series. Its economics, the bigger an audience or popularity of a show, the more a Studio and Network can charge an Advertiser for commercial space. For example a 30 second commercial spot for the Super Bowl and The Academy Awards is very very expensive. This puts a lot of pressure on Network Executives to make the right choice on what shows they broadcast on their channels.
I thought lets put a TV channel together and have an audience decide what is good and what isn’t before a Studio and Network spends millions of dollars producing a show that they end up just cancelling. I contacted Ted Turner (CEO of TBS, TNT, CNN), Michael Eisner (CEO of Disney Studios) and Steve Wynn (Las Vegas developer). I kept hitting road blocks. Their secretaries would tell me they don’t accept any unsolicited ideas. Steve Wynn was the only one who personally called me back. He’s a wonderful man. He loved the idea, but was so committed in developing Hotels and Casinos, he couldn’t get involved with Pilot TV. He said stick with it and keep him posted on the progress. (the idea stalled).
Fast forward to 2010. I watched The Social Network. Being in the Entertainment business, I get academy screeners. These are DVD’s of current movies. We get these in our business before these shows are even seen by the public. We have to vote on them in peer groups. For example I vote on best picture and best sound. What struck me about The Social Network, was how the guys said that the Facebook creator stole their idea. Originally it was The Facebook, and eventually became Facebook. Why didn’t these guys, instead of seeking legal action to prove they were the creators of Facebook, just get the domain name first. History would be different.
I worked fast to lock in Pilot TV Network as a Corporation and to get pilottv.net as our domain name. I was telling this story to my golfing friends and two of them wanted to be involved. Jeff Southern, Phil Groves and me have since built Pilot TV into the company it currently is. The time is perfect for Pilot TV. Our taste in entertainment is to have On Demand technology. We as consumers want to watch what we want to watch, when we want to watch it.
It’s exciting for me to have and idea, a dream and to watch it become something bigger then I ever could have imagined.I’m also excited for you the members to be able to watch shows that you never before would have been able to see. You will be a part of the industry by seeing shows that Networks want to test with you before they greenlight them into a series.
Thanks for being a Member,
Terry R. O’Bright CEO