Why is the first episode of a series called the pilot?

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Not always:

    Powerless- Wayne or Lose

    Chuck- Chuck vs the Intersect

    Heroes- Genesis

    Constantine- Non Est Asylum

    Wonder Woman- Wonder Woman Meets Baroness von Gunther

    Star Trek- The Man Trap

    Superboy- The Jewel of Techacal

    Shows that want to be unique and are usually good stay away from S1E1 titles called “Pilot”. 

    (There are definitely others, but these come to mind. Shows that make their first episode called Pilot, unless it centers around a pilot, end up falling for the status quo/popularity drill.)

    • ANDRE L
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      The issue isn't whether the first episode it officially titled as The Pilot, but why a first episode is called that in the industry.

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  • 1 month ago

    It's when the series 'takes off.'

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  • Pete
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The word 'pilot' has two definitions.  The first and most common is the person who flies a plane... that is the wrong definition in this circumstance.  The second definition is "a model or test version used before introducing something more widely".  This is the correct definition when referring to a first episode.

    • ron h
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      yeah, and there are ship's / harbor pilots who work a single port or harbor to navigate safely.

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  • 2 months ago

    The stations wants to see if the series "will fly", be popular with the audience

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  • Kathy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Because that first episode determines if the show takes off or gets grounded.

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  • 2 months ago

    A pilot episode is produced to sell the concept for a new series. Pilot episodes spend an inordinate amount of time introducing the main characters and setting the primary theme of the series. It's a marketing tool.

    If the series is bought by the network, they will often start that series with the pilot that was used for marketing purposes. The rationale is that now the general audience will now need to be introduced to the main characters and the major theme of the series so that they will start to watch the series. And the pilot episode is ideal for that.

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  • oikoσ
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    For the same reason you drill a "pilot" hole before driving a screw and light your stove from the "pilot" light and have your ship led into port by a "pilot" who knows the harbor.

    • ron h
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      best answer

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  • 2 months ago

    How about "the tail" instead? 

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  • 2 months ago

    It is usually created before the series is "green lit".  That means that pilots are one-off shows that serve as a kind of test case or application to the producers to see if they will fund the whole series.  Most pilots never make it to a full series but if they do they usually serve as the first of the series.

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