Even a center-cut pilot, however, has some license to add some dramatic twist that makes it more shocking than a typical episode of that show, even if it’s just revealing information that everybody on the show already knows. For instance, one classic pilot ending is to reveal an unexpected connection between the characters, even if this is only a surprise to the audience at home:
- At the end of the “Modern Family” pilot, we suddenly realize that three separate families we’ve been watching are really one big extended family.
- On “Mad Men”, we’re shocked to find out that Don is married, even though everybody in the show knew all along.
- Throughout the pilot for “Hill Street Blues”, police chief Furillo clashes with public defender Davenport, while his fellow cops try in vain to hit on her. At the end of pilot, we find out that Furillo and Davenport are secretly lovers, despite their workplace disagreements.
- At the end of the pilot for “Homeland” an cryptic flashback implies that Brody lied about not knowing Abu Nasir.
- At the end of the pilot miniseries for “Battlestar: Galactica”, we find out that one our heroes is secretly a cylon, which even she doesn’t suspect yet.
- At the end of the “Shield” pilot, Vic killed a fellow cop.
- Walt on Breaking Bad killed some drug rivals on his first day on the job.
- Glenn Close on “Damages” killed her client’s dog and framed it on the other side!
- At the end of the “Cheers” pilot, Diane realizes that her fiancé has permanently ditched her at the bar.
- At the end of the “Supernatural” pilot (pictured above), the demon kills the girlfriend of the reluctant brother.
And that’s it! Oh, and you should also apply all of the 200+ other rules we’ve already covered on this blog. But then you’re all set: Go create a TV show.