Rejection is the pathway to success and the phrase can be considered particularly true for shows like Breaking Bad, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Game Of Thrones and The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story which not only kept the audience on their toes but also dominated the Emmy awards. And most of these television shows which forced you to get back home from schools and offices before their telecast time had earlier failed to impress the channels. Ironically, their unique concept and style of packaging did not get a thumbs up in the first go.
Either the script of the show had been unworthy of a pilot episode to go forward with a new season, or the pilot itself was not at par with the standards of the channel. However, despite such rejections, these shows went on to walk down the red carpet and emerged a winner at the Emmy awards.
Watch out for this unbelievable list of seven shows which almost failed to get a pass ticket, but later went on to become big, really big!
1. The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, is currently the highest nominated show after Game Of Thrones at the Emmy Awards this year. But it took the makers nearly 20 years to get it done. That is because this masterpiece almost didn’t take off initially. The book was auctioned much earlier by Fox executives for a television show as the network’s first foray into event programming. However, Keivin Reily who was the head of the network then had left and the show was hindered from going any further.
Much later, Ryan Murphy, finished his HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart. For this to happen, though, Murphy asked specifically for promising scripts that were stuck in a limbo and that is how The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story happened. He was on the look out for a spin off to his anthology of horror series, American Horror Story and take it into a true-crime direction. The show has bagged 22 nominations at the Emmys this year, just one short of television sensation Game of Thrones.
2. Breaking Bad
Back in 2005, the creator of Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan (known for his work on The X-Files) came up with the idea of a show that involved a suburban dad who after being diagnosed with terminal cancer tries his hand at drug dealing. However, when Vince approached the cable networks with his idea he was told that his concept was nothing new. After a lot of convincing Vince was able to get on the roll. Soon it became one of the favourite shows of the audience and let’s not even begin with the massive popularity Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul brought in with the show. Breaking Bad went on to bag 58 nominations at the Emmys and took home 16 of them.
3. Game of Thrones
The months of April, May, and June can easily be called the season of Game Of Thrones. Courtesy the amount of adulation and headlines this show makes every year. But GoT had initially failed to impress because its pilot was beyond horrible. Even the creator David Benioff’s wife and Hollywood actress Amanda Peet thought the show would be an epic fail because it was about dungeons and dragons and real people.
Game of Thrones is about to make television history this year at the Emmys as the most awarded narrative series since the first Television Academy prize-giving back in 1949! Having won 9 Creative Emmys this year, the show has now received 35 awards over just six years including this year’s Emmys and with just 3 more awards, it will beat Frasier’s record of 37 awards over it’s 11 season run!
Let’s keep aside the Emmy awards for a while and imagine a television world without Monica Geller, Chandler Bing, Ross Geller, Joey Tribbiani, Rachel Greene and Phoebe Buffay! Initially, Courtney Cox (Monica) almost played Rachel, Maggie Wheeler (Janice) almost played Monica, Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston almost didn’t join the cast, and the show we know as F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was almost going to be named ‘Six of One’ instead!
But that’s not the worst fate the show would have endured! Its pilot didn’t test great and in the creative process received a lot of criticism and disapproval from executives who thought the show would sink to its misery! The testing audience also said there were too many sexual innuendos and the characters were only moderately likeable. They made it to NBC simply because there was nothing else lined up and as they say the rest is history. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. has 62 Emmy nominations in its kitty and 6 wins!
5. Desperate Housewives
Desperate Housewives followed the domestic struggles and secrets of the women in Westeria Lane. With an excellent narration, the show also showed how crime and criminals secretly live in a neighbourhood that looks so nice amidst the maple trees and sweet buildings. Marc Cherry had his pilot rejected by major networks such as HBO and Lifetime.
HBO wanted to give the ladies of Sex And The City more space on screen than the poised women of the Westeria Lane. After giving a more satire-like feel, ABC gave the approval, and the show went on to bag 38 Emmy nominations and won 7 of them.
6. Mad Men
One of the most beautifully created shows in the television history, Mad Men, almost never took off. The concept and idea for Mad Men were initially pitched to HBO who turned it down because they weren’t too convinced. Thereafter, AMC graciously accepted the show that went on to bag a whopping 116 nominations and 16 wins at the Emmys, four of which were for Outstanding Drama Series.
7. The Big Bang Theory
The popular comedy show, The Big Bang Theory based on people with an aptitude for science and a pretty faced would-be actress would never have been made! It seems the original pilot of the show was somewhat a casualty and termed by testers as a ‘Busted Pilot’. However, once the show went on-air, it instantly became a huge hit earning 46 nominations and 9 wins at the Emmys over the years. The popularity of The Big Bang Theory is almost unimaginable. Audience feedbacks and ratings have been so positive that CBS ordered its 3-year renewal, twice!
What kind of a world would we have lived in if these shows were never made? We don’t even want to give it a thought!
The Emmy Awards will be telecast LIVE across Star World, Star World Premiere HD, Star World HD, FX and FX HD on Monday, September 19th at 4:30 am