Drake and Josh (partially found unaired pilot of Nickelodeon sitcom TV series; 2002)
Drake and Josh is a sitcom that premiered on Nickelodeon on January 11th, 2004, and ended its run on August 3rd, 2007, with a Christmas movie airing on December 5th, 2008. It was created by Dan Schneider as a spin-off of The Amanda Show, in which Drake Bell and Josh Peck originally appeared. Although the first episode of the series is known to fans as the pilot, there was, however, a real pilot of the show.
This pilot was produced in 2002 and was made before Nickelodeon officially picked up the show that year. Not much is known about this except that it supposedly used the same plot as the first episode of the show, and Walter Nichols (Josh's Dad) was originally played by the late Stephen Furst instead of Jonathan Goldstein. The reason for his replacement when the series was greenlit was mostly due to him being unavailable for future episodes.
The pilot remained in obscurity until 2013 when Dan Schneider posted screenshots on his DanWarp Twitter account, and a short video of footage from the pilot showing Stephen Furst that was soon privatized. Other than that, no other piece of info is available for this pilot and has yet to be released by Nickelodeon or by Dan Schneider himself. It was also discovered that a promo for the show also uploaded to DanWarp also contained footage of the pilot.
On November 28th, 2017, LMW user afx6010 found the privatized video after finding that it was created in 2002, not 2003 as it was originally thought, and uploaded it to MEGA. The footage indicates that, along with clear casting and set design deviations, the pilot's writing differed from that of the final version of the premiere episode to some degree. The video showcases a version of the basketball scene where Drake accidentally hits Walter in the face with the ball, knocking him out; in the final episode, Walter catches the ball and spins it on his finger before accidentally tossing it at and consequently breaking a ceramic lamp beside Drake.
- Promo featuring clips from the unaired pilot. Retrieved 20 Dec '18