Clerks (found pilot of cancelled live-action sitcom TV series based on film; 1995)
A screenshot of the pilot taken from an archived review.
Date found: 25 Jan 2015
Found by: Unknown
In 1994, Kevin Smith had his feature-length directorial debut with Clerks, a black and white comedy film about the daily lives of two store clerks. Despite its unconventional approach, the small budget film was a surprising success, fairing well with critics and earning over $3 million in the U.S. box office despite never playing on more than fifty screens at a time.
TV Series and Production
Due to its overwhelming success, Touchstone Television began work on a television series adaptation/continuation of the film unbeknownst to Smith. When the director was eventually made aware of the project, casting had already begun, and decisions had been made regarding the tone and story of the series. Although he attempted to be a part of the production, more of his time was devoted to his second film Mallrats, which he had been in the process of filming when approached by Touchstone.
These early production issues, in addition to the fact that an early script by Smith was rejected by the studio, caused the director to eventually become disheartened with the project. The R-rated film being translated to the small screen also meant that the content would have to be toned down considerably. The "family-friendly" Clerks series lacked the sexual humour, swearing, and mentions of drug use present in the film and added on new characters and locations (such as an ice cream parlour) that completely changed the tone of the series from that of its source.
Despite the fact that Brian 'O' Halloran ("Dante Hicks" in the film) and Jeff Anderson ("Randall Graves") had reportedly both auditioned for parts, both were rejected, with the series instead opting for an entirely new cast and only off-hand mentions of the film's characters to connect the two projects.
By all accounts, the pilot was a failure and faded into obscurity, the only proof of it ever existing being Kevin Smith's own insistence that it was "complete crap," until an anonymous vid.me user uploaded the full pilot on January 25th, 2015.
Due to the fact that vid.me shut down in December of 2017, the full pilot was mirrored and uploaded to YouTube by the user Cactus Jack on April 6th, 2015. The YouTube mirror of the original vid.me upload can be viewed below.
- IMDb's page on the pilot. Retrieved 03 Nov '18