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Unsold TV Pilots: The Greatest Shows You Never Saw Paperback – June 13, 2001

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Unsold TV Pilots: The Greatest Shows You Never Saw + Unsold Television Pilots, Volume 2: 1977-1989 + Unsold Television Pilots, Volume 1: 1955-1976
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (June 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595189644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595189649
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,511,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The best bathroom reading ever." -- The San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Lee Goldberg is a TV writer and producer whose many credits include Spenser: For Hire, SeaQuest, Diagnosis Murder, and Martial Law. He is also the author of the novels My Gun Has Bullets and Beyond the Beyond.

More About the Author

Lee Goldberg is an ex-Navy SEAL, freelance Sexual Surrogate and a professional Pierce Brosnan impersonator.

Okay, that's not true. But he wants this biography to be really exciting, so pay attention. If things bog down, I've been instructed to add a car chase or some explicit sex.

Here's the real story. Lee Goldberg writes books and television shows.

His mother wanted him to be a doctor, and his grandfather wanted him to go into the family furniture business. Instead, he put himself through UCLA as a freelance journalist, writing for such publications as American Film, Starlog, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times Syndicate, The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle (He also wrote erotic letters to the editor for Playgirl at $25-a-letter, but he doesn't tell people about that, he just likes to boast about those "tiffany" credits).

He published his first book ".357 Vigilante" (as "Ian Ludlow," so he'd be on the shelf next to Robert Ludlum) while he was still a UCLA student. The West Coast Review of Books called his debut "as stunning as the report of a .357 Magnum, a dynamic premiere effort," singling the book out as "The Best New Paperback Series" of the year. Naturally, the publisher promptly went bankrupt and he never saw a dime in royalties. (But the books are available on the Kindle as "The Jury Series")

Welcome to publishing, Lee.

His subsequent books include the non-fiction books "Successful Television Writing" and "Unsold Television Pilots" ("The Best Bathroom Reading Ever!" San Francisco Chronicle) as well as the novels "My Gun Has Bullets" ("It will make you cackle like a sitcom laugh track," Entertainment Weekly), "Dead Space" ("Outrageously entertaining," Kirkus Reviews), "Watch Me Die" ("as dark and twisted as anything Hammet or Chandler ever dreamed up," Kirkus Reviews).

"Take me now," she moaned, "you hot writer stud."

She tore off her clothes and tackled him onto the floor, unable to control her raging lust. Nothing excited her more than being around a writer with a big list of books.

Got your attention again? Good. I don't know about you, but I was starting to nod off. Where was I? Oh yes...

Goldberg broke into television with a freelance script sale to "Spenser: For Hire." Since then, his TV writing & producing credits have covered a wide variety of genres, including sci-fi (SeaQuest), cop shows (Hunter, The Glades), martial arts (Martial Law), whodunits (Diagnosis Murder, Nero Wolfe), the occult (She-Wolf of London), kid's shows (R.L. Stine's The Nightmare Room), T&A (Baywatch), comedy (Monk) and utter crap (The Highwayman). His TV work has earned him two Edgar Award nominations from the Mystery Writers of America.

His two careers, novelist and TV writer, merged when he began writing the "Diagnosis Murder" series of original novels, based on the hit CBS TV mystery that he also wrote and produced, and later wrote the 15 bestselling novels based on "Monk," another show that he worked on. He's also the co-creator of Amazon's "The Dead Man" series of monthly horror novellas and the author of the crime thriller "King City." Most recently, he teamed up with Janet Evanovich to write the New York Times bestselling books "The Heist" and "Pros & Cons."

But perhaps he's best known for his pioneering work mapping the human genome and negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Goldberg lives in Los Angeles with his wife and his daughter and still sleeps in "Man From UNCLE" pajamas.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morgan on December 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book to read (indeed a cover blurb announces it as "Best Bathroom Reading Ever"), but it fails as a comprehensive reference work to TV pilots.
The book lists over 300 pilots, along with a plot synopsis and information on stars, running time, network, and more. The problem is that there have been many more pilots than this book covers ("Experimental Television, Test Films, Pilots, and Trial Series, 1925 Through 1995 : Seven Decades of Small Screen Almosts" by Vincent Terrace lists 10 times the number of pilots.) The book also divides the pilots by topic, rather than sorting them by title, which makes for annoying reading. I would have preferred the pilots to all be listed together, alphabetically, perhaps with a small topic index in the back.
Fun for a quick overview of the follies of TV, but useless for reference work. To be honest, I wouldn't be giving this a bad review if it weren't for the fact that the book is advertised on the cover as "The Almost Complete Guide..."- I doubt highly that this was the intention of the author. He makes note in his acknowledgements that this is an abridged edition of his book, and thanks other authors who have written more complete guides.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By traderje on May 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read the edition published by citadel press and found it to be a great read. I mean how many times do you get blank stares from people when you describe some unbelievable pilot you saw back when? Now you can show them the reference in this book!
As far as I'm concerend a few of the pilots in this book sounded like good shows.
I think a second edition with more entries would be great.
Even better I'd like to see a DVD compilation with these pilots in it!
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By Derrick Anderson on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lee Goldberg's book "Unsold TV Pilots: The Almost Complete Guide to Everything You Never Saw on TV" features 300 of the most interesting unsold pilots and lists each of them in a complete, interesting way. Lee Goldberg does a great job providing great information on each unsold pilot and even includes what stars played in that pilot. For example..."Steel Collar Man" featured Charles Rocket (Saturday Night Live) and Hoyt Axton (Gremlins). The unsold pilot, by the way, aired on CBS in the mid 1980s.

Checking out this book is fun reading and I look forward to reading it again and again.
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