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Why is the first episode of a TV show called 'Pilot'?

According to Etymology Online, the term pilot has been used since the 1920s to mean "serving as a prototype". It is this sense that you get terms like pilot episode for a TV Show, or pilot program for ...
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19 votes
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Is "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" really the first episode?

Not exactly, there are The Simpsons shorts which aired before "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". The Simpsons shorts are a series of 48 one-minute shorts that ran on the variety show The Tracey ...
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11 votes

Is "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" really the first episode?

Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire was indeed the series premiere of The Simpsons (although it was the 8th episode produced). But before that, the family debuted as shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, ...
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10 votes

Was Tony the Boss of the family in the Sopranos pilot?

It seems like they try to fudge it with this line in the second episode - Tony Soprano: You know, you got a reputation for immaturity, and its not gonna be improved by not paying the tributes the ...
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4 votes
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What happens to unaired or one time only aired pilots?

There is no standard practice for TV pilots (failed or otherwise), as their possessors will have different intentions. Some, but not all, successful pilots are deployed as the maiden episode of a TV ...
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2 votes

Was Tony the Boss of the family in the Sopranos pilot?

As others have said, there were several hints in the pilot episode, indicating that Tony was in fact the boss. But another reason that has yet to be mentioned is the fact that the pilot episode was ...
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1 vote

Why is the first episode of a TV show called 'Pilot'?

A Pilot episode is like a Pilot light, a small flame that is used to start a bigger fire. If the pilot goes out, there can be no fire. If the pilot fails to get an audience interested, there can be no ...
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