More “Best TV Shows…” Review


The Best TV Shows That Never Were (ABC, TV-PG)
You couldn’t pay me to watch ABC crap like According to Jim (wait a minute, they do pay me to watch that…or at least they used to), but John Denver as a karate-chopping, guitar-strumming FBI agent? I’m in. So in. Denver’s turn in Higher Ground is just one of the failed TV pilots that turn up in this fun and fast-paced special, which also includes Peter Boyle reincarnated as a talking bulldog in something called Poochinski. That’s right, you heard me-Poochinski. B+ (Dalton Ross)


Finally airing after two years on ABC’s shelf, this summer special turns a bunch of lemons into refreshing lemonade. Best TV Shows, based on the book Unsold Television Pilots by coexecutive producer Lee Goldberg, is a breezy hour of clips from sample episodes of series that the networks decided against ordering. Not surprisingly, most of them stink- which is why the special is such a good time. You’ll slap your head in disbelief- try not to hurt yourself- at the idea of John Denver as a singing FBI agent. You’ll wonder whether Joe Penny as a samurai district attorney would have been funnier – unintentionally – that John Belushi’s Saturday Night Live. And you’ll think Scott Bakula is pretty down to earth in Star Trek: Enterprise after you see him in a busted pilot as a wacky scientist who accidentally merges with a satellite. For tube-historians, this is a must see. (3 out of 4 stars)


Actually, most of this cheeky clip-show special consists of appallingly bad scenes from the worst high concept television pilots ever rejected by the networks: Dennis Franz rides a horse in NYPD MOUNTED; Peter Boyle plays a dead cop reincarnated as a dog in POOCHINSKI and John Denver fights — and sings — as an FBI agent in HIGHER GROUND. Although it’s an entertaining hour, you’ll find yourself echoing the refrains “What were they thinking?” and “Look at that stupid thing!” SCORE 7 out of 10.

2 thoughts on “More “Best TV Shows…” Review”

  1. I tuned in, I turned on, and I loved it. Great job. Any chance of another show? After all, NBC keeps cranking out those ‘Game Show Moments’ compilations.


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