Crashed Pilots: Revenge of the Nerds TV Series

Crashed Pilots: Revenge of the Nerds TV Series

It’s been quite a while now since I did one of these, it’s just hard to get motivated to sit down and watch something, while taking screen-caps, and then write-up some big article on it. This one shifts away from the pattern of my previous Crashed Pilots posts in that it’s about a live-action pilot.


Yes, that’s right. Revenge of the Nerds almost had its own TV series. Fox aired this pilot episode back in 1991 but dumped the idea when the reviews were too negative, the episode is currently available on the “Panty Raid Edition” DVD of the original movie.

This pilot only features four of the original nerds. They did a decent job of casting most of those, but you’d never guess that the blonde one was supposed to be Booger.


I think part of the reason the pilot failed is because it was so similar to the original movie, it didn’t offer the viewers anything new (except a laugh track). It’s simply an exact, though somewhat abbreviated version of the first part of the original movie, ending just after they take revenge for the bricks being thrown through the windows. Instead of hooking up the nudie cams like in the movie, they get their revenge in this pilot with an electronic muscle contracting exercise device.

On the jocks’ side, they did keep Ogre (with an actor who does look the part), and Stan. There is a cheerleader who is probably Betty, but she isn’t named in this pilot.

It looks like this series would have been an alternate universe version of the Revenge of the Nerds story, but I think it would have been more successful if it had picked up where the movie left off, or perhaps focus on some entirely new group of nerds. It really wasn’t bad, it’s just that you spend half the episode trying to figure out which characters are new & which ones are supposed to be old returning ones, and the other half waiting for something new to happen. If they had a few episodes instead of just the one, they might have been able to take it far enough in another direction that it would have drawn an audience.


Team Retroist Chief Nostalgia Psychic...

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I love coming across failed pilots! I didn’t know about this one, so glad I do now! Great writeup!

  2. Have you checked out my other ‘crashed pilots” articles?
    I have a fairly long list of pilots to write articles on & originally intended the series to be more frequent, but as I mentioned it’s hard to get motivated.

  3. Another cool and revelatory article, Drahken.
    I was always slightly amazed that TV attempts to bring my favorite movies to the tube were nearly always so short-sighted.
    Planet Of The Apes was the most successful one, to me. And that owed it all to Roddy McDowall bringing his A-game ape characterization to us fans for a weekly (though short-lived) delight.

    Like you say, it just seemed a no-brainer to me to just take off where the movie ended and expand into new grounds with the same base elements that made the idea of a TV show so enticing.

    Eh, as a grown-up kid, I know why the business shoves all good ideas by the wayside to push something forward as a replica, as if the dollar amount will be instantly replicated in such fashion.

    But it certainly is fascinating to see the remains of all these crashed pilots, most of which obliterated so fast they barely left a trace in my TV Guides.

    Keep ’em coming!

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