1965 Unsold TV Pilots

The 1965 Season

The 1965-1966 TV season marked a transition period in American television, as the medium was evolving rapidly from black and white to color and from traditional family sitcoms to more socially conscious dramas. Many classic TV shows premiered during this season, including “Get Smart,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Green Acres,” and “The Wild Wild West.”

Some other notable shows that premiered during the 1965-1966 season include “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Big Valley,” “The F.B.I.,” “Lost in Space,” and “Gidget.” The season also saw the debut of the first-ever animated TV special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The major TV networks at the time were ABC, CBS, and NBC, with each network airing a mix of dramas, comedies, variety shows, and news programs. The ratings battle between the networks was fierce, with shows like “Bonanza” and “The Andy Griffith Show” regularly topping the charts.

Overall, the 1965-1966 TV season is considered a landmark year in American television, with many of the shows and trends that emerged during this time continuing to influence the medium to this day.

Unsold Pilots in 1965

NYT December 23, 1964. “New television shows for next season will be selected from among 76 pilot films that are now in various stages of production. The National Broadcasting Company has 24 shows in production, the American Broadcasting Company 22 and the Columbia Broadcasting System 18. There are 12 others being financed by sponsors, which have not yet chosen a network.

The list contains far more half‐hour shows than one‐hour shows, a reversal of the pattern for the last few years. In category, there seem to be more comedy shows than any other single type. The pilots are being produced for the networks by such motion picture companies as Metro‐Goldwyn-Mayer Television, 20th Century Fox Television, Screen Gems, Four Star Productions, Revue Productions, Talent Associates, Paramount, Ltd., United Artists Television, Warner Brothers, Desilu Productions and others.

Among the 78 pilots, no more than one‐fourth or possibly one third is likely to become a series, on the basis of past seasons But rejected pilots sometimes have their day or night on television when they are assembled in a series and sold to networks or stations in a bunch.

The making of a pilot or sample program for network consideration is financed in various ways. Frequently a network and a production company share the cost and sometimes an advertiser will contribute, too. This gives the advertiser first call on the series if the pilot turns out well.”


  • I Spy
  • Convoy
  • Indictment
  • The Ghost Breakers
  • The Mayor
  • The Wackiest Ship in the Army
  • Star Trek
  • Marty
  • The Willies
  • Kissin” Cousins
  • I‐Dream of Jeanie
  • Guilty or Not Guilty
  • Hank
  • My Mother, the Car
  • Camp Runamuck,
  • See Here, Private Hargrove,
  • Here’s Aggie
  • The Good Old Bays
  • The Alan King Show
  • Steptoe and Son
  • The Mr. and the Misses
  • Mr. Roberts
  • Please Don’t Eat the Daisies
  • Camp 44


  • Hercules
  • Long Hot Summer
  • Diamond Jim
  • Big Valley
  • Will Banner
  • Moment of Decision
  • Hellcats
  • The Bette Davis Show
  • The Shirley Temple Show
  • Frank Merriwell
  • Honey West
  • Thompson’s Ghost
  • Jesse James
  • Meet Me in St. Louis
  • Two’s Company
  • The Shenandoah Man
  • F Troop
  • Baby Makes Three
  • Okay, Crackeby
  • My Island Family
  • Take Her, She’s Mine
  • Tammy


  • The Quest
  • The Wild West
  • The Haunted
  • Coronet Blue
  • Lost: in Space
  • Selina Mead
  • The Heroes
  • Heaven Help Us!
  • My Son, the Doctor
  • The Marriage Broker
  • Who Goes There?
  • My 15 Blocks
  • The Lawyer
  • The Eve Arden Show
  • Happily Ever After
  • This Is a Hospital?
  • You’re Only Young Twice
  • Fluffie