Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.
In this television pilot, an apparent alien attack destroys cities across the world and leaves bizarre, black spires standing in their place. In the aftermath, a group of neighbors band together to find a means of survival in this post-apocalyptic setting. Jesse Alexander–a veteran of Alias, Lost, and Heroes–created the series and it was planned as a serialized, myth-heavy show much like those others he had worked on. But I can’t speak to whether it was actually any good because it never made it to the air nor was it granted a DVD release. In fact, this could be called “The Incredible Disappearing TV Show” because it was first announced as a thirteen episode mid-season series, then that was shortened to four episodes, then a single TV movie, and then that never aired. Day One was originally intended to occupy the Heroes timeslot on NBC’s schedule at the beginning of 2010 while that veteran show was on hiatus, but the network ended up having a change of heart about the new entry. Executive Angela Bromstad made excuses for it and claimed that there was “concern about sustaining the show’s mythology.” But after all the money that NBC poured into it (the pilot allegedly had a high price tag), you would have thought that they would have found some way to get it on the schedule, especially after a fair number of timeslots opened up when the Jay Leno Prime time experiment was deemed a failure at mid-season. The TV movie that was produced was cobbled together from the pilot and what they had produced up to that point for the ensuing episodes and an NBC exec claimed that the viewers would be able to “see where it could go in series, but there will be a resolve at the end of the two hours. If the TV movie performs well the story may be continued.” The problem, though, was that the TV movie never got a chance. To my knowledge, it did not get the rounds at any of the cons either, so I don’t know of anybody who has actually seen it. There is a somewhat blurry trailer clip out on YouTube that actually looks quite interesting, but there is no other footage available for it that I am aware of, nor have I seen any bootleg copies floating around. Apparently NBC just lost faith in the show, but could it have been any worse than the mess that was The Event which sunk on that network’s schedule the season after Day One was supposed to air? We may never know.
Aired: Never (Unseen NBC Pilot)
Starring: Julie Gonzalo, Derek Mio, Addison Timlin, Adam Campbell
Created By: Jesse Alexander