Do you know what pilot means?

I noticed a little trend on netflix where the very first episode is named pilot and I find this name on multiple series is this a coincidence or is there an actual trend/ meaning behind this


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Most Helpful Guy

  • The pilot episode is the first episode of a new TV series, it is almost like a test episode to gauge the interest in the idea. Some shows have been cancelled after the pilot episode.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • It's called the pilot cause it's the first time the show goes 'on air'

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What Guys Said 5

  • A pilot is often the first episode of a television series, but it is more than that.

    A pilot is the promotional episode of a television series. The company that wants to make the series first needs to sell it to a network to broadcast it. The network won't just pay for a full season because they want to know the kind of show they are going to get, so they look at the pilot.

    Several different things may then happen:
    1. If the network likes the pilot and the premise of the show, it will usually "green-light" the show and order 10-13 episodes and, if the show does well in the ratings, the network will order enough for the rest of the season.
    2. The network may like the pilot but suggest changes and/or a second pilot before green-lighting the show. In that case, the pilot may or may not ever be seen even if the show eventually becomes a broadcast series.
    3. The network may reject the show. The producer then may choose to "shop" the show to another network. This often happens. However, the producer may also decide to abandon production of the show altogether. I was once in a test audience for a show so bad that I could not click the red unhappy button often enough. That show was never aired.

    "Star Trek" is a good example of a show that had Destiny #2 above.
    In 1964, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, made a pilot episode called "The Cage". NBC, the network that eventually broadcast Star Trek in 1966, didn't like the pilot because it involved too much thinking. They wanted something more like a western which were popular back then. So, Roddenberry made a second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Almost all the actors/characters were changed except Leonard Nimoy/Spock. NBC liked pilot because laser guns were involved. NBC then green-lighted Star Trek. That second pilot became an episode of Star Trek, but the first pilot, "The Cage" was not. However, the footage from "The Cage" was used to make a 2-part episode called "The Menagerie".

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  • The first episode, which is kinda like a promotional piece often used to gauge public reception.

    Not always though. Sometimes people just call that the first episode.

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  • First episode of a TV show to air.

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  • A pilot is always the first episode or better put a "test run" of the series so they see if the ratings are good for them to continue making it.

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  • It simply means that it's the 1st and leading episode for that show

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