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What Is a TV Pilot?
A "television pilot", also known as a pilot episode and series premiere, is the first episode of a television series. At the time of its inception, the pilot is meant to be the "testing ground" to see if a series will be possibly desired and successful and therefore a test episode of an intended television series.
There is significant competition for actually getting airtime for a series. Generally a network gives the go-ahead to writers and producers, and will fund production of a TV pilot. Occasionally, a pilot is produced by non-network individuals and is then farmed out to networks to see if interest exists.
Pilots usually run as the first episode of the series, unless the series ended up being so different from the pilot that it wouldn't make sense. In this case the pilot, or portions of it, is often re-shot or rewritten to fit the rest of the series.
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