Best pilot episodes

by kilpoul | created - 10 Feb 2014 | updated - 8 months ago | Public
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1. Breaking Bad (2008–2013)
Episode: Pilot (2008)

TV-MA | 58 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, chemistry teacher Walter White teams up with his former student, Jesse Pinkman, to cook and sell crystal meth.

Director: Vince Gilligan | Stars: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris

Votes: 21,697

2. The X-Files (1993–2018)
Episode: Pilot (1993)

TV-14 | 48 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Agent Dana Scully is instructed to debunk an FBI project dubbed "The X-Files," paranormal cases that have been reopened by Agent Fox Mulder.

Director: Robert Mandel | Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Charles Cioffi, Cliff De Young

Votes: 9,230

3. Veronica Mars (2004– )
Episode: Pilot (2004)

TV-14 | 42 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Meet Veronica Mars. Your typical high school student and private eye. A year ago, Veronica's best friend Lilly was murdered. Her father, Keith, then the town sheriff, accused Lilly's ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Piznarski | Stars: Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn, Jason Dohring

Votes: 1,333

4. One Tree Hill (2003–2012)
Episode: Pilot (2003)

TV-14 | 42 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

Nathan Scott is Tree Hill High's biggest basketball star and is dating Peyton, a cheerleader. Nathan's half brother, Lucas, joins the team - and threatens to take both Nathan's spot in the lineup and his girl.

Director: Bryan Gordon | Stars: Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz

Votes: 660

5. Smallville (2001–2011)
Episode: Pilot (2001)

TV-PG | 50 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Baby Clark (Kal-El) arrives on Earth. Teen Clark starts high school, saves Lex's life after a car accident, and finds out about his past and birth parents.

Director: David Nutter | Stars: Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Eric Johnson

Votes: 1,565

6. Misfits (2009–2013)
Episode: Episode #1.1 (2009)

TV-14 | 46 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Five young adolescents begin community service under the watchful eye of their probation officer when a freak storm strikes them, granting them supernatural abilities.

Director: Tom Green | Stars: Antonia Thomas, Robert Sheehan, Lauren Socha, Iwan Rheon

Votes: 1,208

7. Friday Night Lights (2006–2011)
Episode: Pilot (2006)

TV-PG | 43 min | Drama, Sport

New head coach Eric Taylor finds his every move scrutinized as he takes over leadership of Texas's No. 1 high school football team.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Gaius Charles, Zach Gilford

Votes: 947

8. Gilmore Girls (2000–2007)
Episode: Pilot (2000)

TV-PG | 45 min | Comedy, Drama

Rory is accepted into the elite Chilton prep school. Bad news for Lorelai: she must make amends with her parents to borrow the money for Rory's tuition. The money is available--with strings attached.

Director: Lesli Linka Glatter | Stars: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Melissa McCarthy, Keiko Agena

Votes: 1,044

9. Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
Episode: Pilot (2011)

TV-PG | 42 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Romance

Emma Swan is taken to a strange town by her son Henry, who she gave up for adoption years ago, and tells her of a curse cast by the Evil Queen.

Director: Mark Mylod | Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas

Votes: 3,307

10. Dexter (2006–2013)
Episode: Dexter (2006)

TV-MA | 53 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Dexter takes part in the investigation of a serial killer who drains his victims of blood. He also kills two criminals, and his romantic relationship may be going to the next level.

Director: Michael Cuesta | Stars: Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter, Erik King

Votes: 6,783

11. Supernatural (2005– )
Episode: Pilot (2005)

TV-14 | 44 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Sam and Dean Winchester were trained by their father to hunt the creatures of the supernatural. Now, their father has mysteriously disappeared while hunting the demon that killed their mother, 22 years ago.

Director: David Nutter | Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Sarah Shahi, Adrianne Palicki

Votes: 6,544

12. The O.C. (2003–2007)
Episode: Pilot (2003)

TV-PG | 45 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Ryan Atwood is a troubled, 16-year-old kid living in the rough, crime-ridden neighborhood of Chino located in San Bernadino, California, who gets thrown out of his own house by his ... See full summary »

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan, Ben McKenzie, Mischa Barton

Votes: 1,053

13. Game of Thrones (2011–2019)
Episode: Winter Is Coming (2011)

TV-MA | 62 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Eddard Stark is torn between his family and an old friend when asked to serve at the side of King Robert Baratheon; Viserys plans to wed his sister to a nomadic warlord in exchange for an army.

Director: Timothy Van Patten | Stars: Sean Bean, Mark Addy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michelle Fairley

Votes: 37,828

14. Prison Break (2005–2017)
Episode: Pilot (2005)

TV-14 | 42 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Michael Scofield is imprisoned in Fox River State Penitentiary. He finds his brother, Lincoln Burrows, who is a death row prisoner, and tells him that he is going to break them both out of the prison.

Director: Brett Ratner | Stars: Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Robin Tunney, Amaury Nolasco

Votes: 5,185

15. My So-Called Life (1994–1995)
Episode: Pilot (1994)

TV-PG | 49 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Angela Chase begins a friendship with Rayanne Graff and Rickie Vasquez. At home there is tension between her and her mother.

Director: Scott Winant | Stars: Bess Armstrong, Wilson Cruz, Claire Danes, Devon Gummersall

Votes: 285

16. Heroes (2006–2010)
Episode: Chapter One 'Genesis' (II) (2006)

TV-14 | 53 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

In Manhattan, Peter Petrelli is the younger brother Nathan Petrelli an overly ambitious and unscrupulous candidate for the next New York congressman, and he dreams and believes that he can ... See full summary »

Director: David Semel | Stars: Santiago Cabrera, Tawny Cypress, Noah Gray-Cabey, Ali Larter

Votes: 2,639

17. The Walking Dead (2010– )
Episode: Days Gone Bye (2010)

TV-14 | 67 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes awakens from a coma, and searches for his family in a world ravaged by the undead.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden

Votes: 19,103

18. The Vampire Diaries (2009–2017)
Episode: Pilot (2009)

TV-14 | 42 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder star in this series, based on the best-selling book series, of two vampire brothers at war for the soul of 17-year-old Elena.

Director: Marcos Siega | Stars: Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Steven R. McQueen

Votes: 2,899

19. Charmed (1998–2006)
Episode: Something Wicca This Way Comes (1998)

PG | 42 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Three sisters reunite after the death of their beloved grandmother, and learn they have inherited much more than the family manor.

Directors: John T. Kretchmer, Bruce Seth Green | Stars: Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Ted King, Dorian Gregory

Votes: 994

20. Longmire (2012–2017)
Episode: Pilot (2012)

Not Rated | 52 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Sheriff Longmire runs a small department in rural Wyoming. When the body of a man is found in the woods the investigation leads to tension between Longmire and the local Indian Reservation,... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Chulack | Stars: Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase

Votes: 1,089

21. Tru Calling (2003–2005)
Episode: Pilot (2003)

Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Tru Davies starts working on a morgue before she can start studying Medicine. The first night she's working at the morgue, a dead woman, Rebecca, asks her for help. Suddenly the day goes ... See full summary »

Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Eliza Dushku, Shawn Reaves, Zach Galifianakis, A.J. Cook

Votes: 259

22. Angel (1999–2004)
Episode: City of... (1999)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

Angel relocates to Los Angeles, where he encounters a stranger who experiences visions of those in need, and a woman who lives in fear of a vampire.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Glenn Quinn, Tracy Middendorf

Votes: 2,068

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