the 10 best tv pilots, ever

love at first sight

Photo via CBS

A fresh season of new TV shows is upon us, and that means pilots on pilots on pilots. Some will be forgotten almost as soon as the credits roll, and others will change the way we look at TV in less than 60 minutes. It’s a fun roll of the dice.

The excitement around the upcoming introductory episodes for shows like Vinyl, Black Code, and others has had us thinking about great pilots in television history. So, we went ahead and selected the 10 best pilots we’ve seen over the last 25 or so years. 

Now, we've put aside the ultimate greatness or corniness of the series these debuts introduced and just concentrated on the individual quality of these episodes as direct, simple beginnings. Consequently, you won’t see pilots for The Sopranos, The Wire, Buffy, Downton Abbey, or even Game of Thrones here. You, will, however see some familiar favorites and some unexpected surprises (remember—good pilots don't always lead to good series). 

Note that all of these pilots are available for purchase or free views on one streaming service or another. What a time to be alive. Oh, and absolutely no spoilers ahead, whatsoever. You're welcome.