Billion Dollar Freshmen (lost pitch pilot of "Lab Rats" Disney XD live-action comedy series; 2010)

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A picture of the cast from the Billion Dollar Freshmen pilot.

Status: Lost

Lab Rats is an American live-action comedy TV series that aired on Disney XD and Disney Channel from February 27th, 2012 to February 3rd, 2016. The show revolved around a team of bionic teens (Chase, Adam, and Bree) going on adventures yet trying to adapt to living with a real family, including their new stepbrother Leo and genius father Davenport, in the fictional town of Mission Creek, California.[1]

Before the show had officially premiered on Disney XD and Disney Channel, an unaired pilot was produced, with the show then being titled Billion Dollar Freshmen. This pilot featured various differences from the final show; however, the unaired pilot has not surfaced since.


In the summer of 2010,[2] a pilot was shot for the show that would eventually become Lab Rats, then titled Billion Dollar Freshmen.[3] According to various sources, the plot goes as follows:

"The show centers on two teenage brothers, Adam and Brad, in high school who have a secret – they’re bionic super soldiers implanted with high-tech bionic abilities such as super-strength, night vision, and ability to download information. Now they must blend in with the real world while on the run from the government after they hear they may be demolished and replaced by upgraded versions."[3][4]

The pilot was created by Chris Peterson and Bryan Moore, along with the executive producer Mark Brazil of That ’70s Show fame. The pilot would also be directed by Mark Cendrowski of The Big Bang Theory fame.[4]

The pilot featured various differences from the final show, such as the plot being slightly different, involving more of a "government escape" of the bionics instead of being created at Leo Dooley's house. The plot was also described as a "teenage, inflation-adjusted version of The Six Million Dollar Man set in high school."[4] Bree was also not present in the pilot, and Donald Davenport's character was originally named Gil L. Arroy.


After the pilot ordered and pitched to Disney, the pilot has never been released to the public and no footage has ever been leaked online. The only remains of the Billion Dollar Freshmen pilot online are two audition tapes for both Zach Ford and Harrison Thacher respectively. These audition tapes were uploaded onto YouTube by users Tracy Ford and Harrison Thacher's own channel, HarrisonThacher. Various behind-the-scenes images and a short recreation of the pilot also exist.



Lost Media Busters video on the Billion Dollar Freshmen pilot.

Zach Ford's audition tape for the Billion Dollar Freshmen pilot.

Harrison Thacher's audition tape for the Billion Dollar Freshmen pilot.

A short recreation of the Billion Dollar Freshmen pilot.

See Also

Disney Channel

Playhouse Disney

Disney Junior

Toon Disney

Disney XD


External Links