The Light from the TV Shows: Failed Pilots with All-Star Casts

As the new TV season rolls out, let’s take a look back at a few series that never actually made it on the air. Not that there aren’t plenty such series every single year, but sometimes you look back and wonder, “How could a show with all of these talented people not get on the schedule?” Not that we have an answer to that question, you understand, but at least we can all be mystified and annoyed together.

Next! (2001)

Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Fred Armisen, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn, Nick Swardson
What you missed out on: After Bob Odenkirk and David Cross decided to put a bullet in their HBO sketch comedy series, “Mr. Show” (that’s right, it was their decision, not the network’s), the guys attempted to go their separate ways, with Odenkirk setting up shop at Fox with a pilot for a new sketch comedy series. If you think the above names are impressive, consider that several other “Mr. Show” alumni were in tow as well, including Jerry Minor, Jay Johnston, and Jill Talley, with Patton Oswalt also participating in some capacity or other. And, yes, if you’re wondering, Cross made an appearance in the pilot, too. So what happened? Apparently, Fox basically flipped a coin to decide which new sketch comedy series they’d add to their lineup, and “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” won the toss. Oh, what might’ve been…

North Hollywood (2001)

Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Poehler, Kevin Hart, and Judge Reinhold as himself
What you missed out on: Judd Apatow has never been ashamed to admit that the only reason that this pilot ever came into existence is that Fox refused to let him cast Jason Segel as his lead in the short-lived but highly-regarded “Undeclared,” but you can’t say he didn’t do his best to surround Segel with top-notch talent. Segel, Amy Poehler, and Kevin Hart played roommates, with Segel a struggling actor, Hart a struggling actor/comedian, and Poehler serving as Judge Reinhold’s personal assistant. There’s a more detailed look at the pilot here, but the long and the short of it is that, although Apatow admits that he really didn’t know if there was a decent series to be had in “North Hollywood,” he thinks the pilot’s pretty decent, but its tone didn’t match the sitcoms filling ABC’s lineup at the time, so they took a pass on it.

Saddle Rash (2002)


Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, Sarah Silverman, Todd Barry, Mitch Hedberg
What you missed out on: Created by Loren Bouchard, best known to animation fans as one of the creative forces behind “Home Movies,” “Saddle Rash” seemed to have all the elements necessary for a successful Adult Swim series, so why didn’t it make it beyond the pilot stage? Was it that westerns weren’t exactly in vogue at the time? Was there some sort of stigma attached to the project because they brought in country artists to continued voice work (including Waylon Jennings as a very special guest in the pilot)? Whatever the case, the pilot got aired – no doubt mostly because Adult Swim has a tendency to air just about every pilot it orders, whether it actually ends up going to series or not – but that was the end of the trail for the series.

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Shoot the Centerfold seminar 3 best yet; Top Playboy editors give expert advice

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“Remember, there is no ‘winging it’ in professional photography….” Playboy Centerfold photographer Arny Freytag stated clearly to the rapt crowd before him. I quickly glanced around the room and you could have heard a pin drop. A few squirmed in their chairs, perhaps recalling a previous moment or two back at their photo studio, thereby reminding themselves again why they had traveled from around the world to attend this event. It was the 3rd installment of the Shoot the Centerfold seminar, this time in Las Vegas, Nevada, from September 14 -16 and Bullz-Eye was there. Here, top photographers from around the world gathered to learn how to shoot centerfold-quality images from Playboy Magazine’s best shooters, and with three stunning and current Playboy Playmates as their subjects. The newly remodeled Tropicana Hotel once again was the featured showcase venue. Jarmo Pohjaniemi, Arny Freytag and David Mecey were the three keynote instructors and, for the first time, both editors Jeff Cohan and Gary Cole added editorial guidance to the photographers who attended the event.

The three ringleaders have honed their craft even more since the first Shoot the Centerfold event took place in Hollywood, Florida, at the Hard Rock Casino & Resort. As before, each had their own stunning glamour photo set, with flexible lighting change-ups to instruct the lensmen how to best capture beauty, figure and form.

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