PitchMen (found Discovery Channel docudrama series; 2009-2011)

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PitchMenTitle.png

The first season's title card.

Status: Found

Date found: 02 Nov 2019 (Season 1) / 09 Jun 2020 (Season 2)

Found by: LongLostVideo (Season 1) / BessGrocery Plainville (Season 2)

PitchMen was a docudrama TV series that aired on the Discovery Channel, produced by Original Productions. The series provided a behind-the-scenes peek at the legendary pitchmen Billy Mays & Anthony "Sully" Sullivan's lives in the competitive direct-response marketing business.

Premise

While the episodes' content varied, most of them started with inventors showing off their ideas to the two pitchmen. A random number of products (usually two) would be selected from the pile, re-evaluated and then field-tested for any potential interest. If the field tests on the products were satisfactory, the crew would film an infomercial for them. The infomercial would then air on a test market, and the inventors get later notified whether their product was a success.

In-between the invention pitching, the show would delve deeper into Mays' and Sullivan's personal lives. The couple would go on trade shows, feud with each other (or with rival pitchman Vince Offer), or generally hang out with their families.

History

The show was officially announced by Discovery on January 9th, 2009, under the name But Wait... There's More (with 13 episodes planned, as opposed to the 12 episodes eventually released).[1] Interestingly, reports of Mays and Sullivan signing a production deal for the show's pilot came around as early as June 2008, with a name more close to the final one, Pitch Men.[2] The first episode, "High Impact Item", aired on April 15th, 2009, and was met with generally positive reviews.

In an unexpected change of events, Billy Mays was found dead in his Tampa home on June 28th, 2009 (3 days before the final episode aired).[3] In response to this, Discovery changed their screen bug to feature Mays, aired a marathon of all the episodes, and released a tribute special named "Pitchman: A Tribute to Billy Mays" (which can be easily found online). Despite Mays' death, a July 2009 press-release from Discovery announced a second season of the show.[4] As a result of the lack of Mays, Sullivan became the sole star of the second season, with an occasional appearance of Mays' son, Billy Mays III.

Despite Sullivan's effort into salvaging the show, the viewership of the second season's premiere was too low, and Discovery pulled the plug after just two episodes.[5] The rest of the episodes were eventually finished by October 2010, and Discovery put the show back on their schedule on January 2011, albeit on a filler slot with barely any promotion (so much so that most people still recall Discovery never airing the last episodes).[6]

Availability

Despite being fairly popular back when it aired, for around 10 years, it was difficult to find full episodes of the show. It appears it was at one point available on several streaming services, but has since been taken down from all of them.[7][8][9] Four full episodes could be found on YouTube, along with several clips from other episodes. Multiple torrents of the show existed, all since unavailable, too.

A DVD of the first season was created, but no longer sold officially and was not ripped online until November 2nd, 2019, when the Internet Archive user LongLostVideo dumped the disc's content on said site. The second season remained mostly lost, with the exception of a few clips and blooper reels uploaded on Sullivan's own YouTube page in 2017. On June 9th, 2020, YouTube user BessGrocery Plainville uploaded what appears to be master copies of the second sesaon's episodes (albeit in blurry quality due to YouTube's compression).

Season 1

# Episode[10] Air Date Synopsis Status
1 High Impact Item April 15th, 2009 Billy and Sully try to turn two inventors' million-dollar dreams into realities. A man from a Texas trailer park has solved a pesky GPS problem, while another man's gel insoles could be big news for sore feet. But will they sell when put to the test?

Products featured: Impact Gel, GPS Pal

Found
2 Dual Saw Shuffle April 22nd, 2009 One man travels from Europe for just five minutes with Billy and Sully, hoping to make a fortune on his "Dual Saw" - an idea that was born out of a friend's tragic injury. A woman leaves her career behind to make an infomercial for her cleaning product, "Shuffles."

Products featured: Dual Saw, Shuffles

Found
3 From the Jaws of Victory April 29th, 2009 Billy and Sully take to the road to shoot a hands free cellphone spot that proves to be traffic-stopping. Then, for a real change of venue, they hit the high seas to test an inventor's ingenious shark repellent device.

Products featured: Sharkstopper, Jupiter Jack

Found
4 Smells Like Gold May 6th, 2009 A German inventor needs Sully to sell his gadget, but this perfectionist might be too much for Sully the pitchman and his team. Then, a former hockey player creates a stink-eliminating spray that gets put to the test when Billy is sprayed by a skunk on shoot day.

Products featured: Vertical Grill, Genius Frying Dome, What Odor?

Found
5 Spotting Talent May 13th, 2009 A 17-year-old boy has invented a cleaning product called the "Spot Sucker," but needs Billy and Sully's help to get it off the ground and change his life for the better. A woman with a foot salve and a small fan-base comes to Billy and Sully to take her business to the next level.

Products featured: Spot Sucker, Heel Stick

Found
6 Tool Guys May 20th, 2009 Sully is fired up to shoot an infomercial for "The Grabit" - a broken-screw extractor - but it could fall apart when Billy makes a deal without him. Born of necessity, the "Tool Band-it" works great, but still lacks an impressive demo, and Sully's sick on the big day!

Products featured: Grabit, Tool Band-it

Found
7 Spinning Green May 27th, 2009 A successful TV pitchwoman hopes to make herself a household name with her new "Spin Gym," but making her infomercial could damage her friendship with Billy and Sully. Next, Billy gets to have some selling fun as a guest on the Tonight Show.

Products featured: Spin Gym, Kaboom

Found
8 Digging for Dollars June 3rd, 2009 Billy re-vamps the ad for one of his most successful products - the "Awesome Auger" - whose inventor lost his legs in a harrowing plane crash. Then, the first-ever infomercial for affordable health insurance: Billy and his family pitch "iCan."

Products featured: Awesome Auger, iCan

Found
9 Grater Education June 10th, 2009 A former pitchmen and cancer survivor gets a leg up from Billy and Sully, who both cut a spot for his handmade product. Then, Billy engages in the deadliest pitch of his career, and the pitch pros are invited to lecture at Princeton University.

Products featured: Grater Plater, Mighty Putty Super Pack

Found
10 A Tale of Three Billys June 17th, 2009 Billy and Sully pitch a lawn fertilizer, Billy's father pitches them a new luxury product, and Billy and Sully help Billy's son direct his first commercial.

Products featured: Green Now, "Turn, Don't Burn," Ragazzi's Italian Restaurant

Found
11 Crunch Time June 24th, 2009 Billy and Sully take on a revolutionary new windshield wiper and produce an explosive shoot, featuring something called the "Bug Bazooka." Then the guys get behind a new way to eat breakfast cereal, "The EZ Crunch Bowl."

Products featured: Gator Blades, EZ Crunch Bowl

Found
12 Revenge of the Pitchmen July 1st, 2009 After banding together to take on a new pitchman on the block, tensions between Billy and Sully come to a head in Philadelphia, as both are determined to win a pitch-off that will decide once and for all who is the best pitchman in the business.

Products featured: Zorbeez, Quick Chop (not mentioned by name: Smart Chopper, Smart Mop)

Found

Season 2

# Episode[11][12][13] Air Date Synopsis Status
1 Passing the Torch Aug 19th, 2010 A former marine with a bright idea thinks he can revolutionize the flashlight, Sully attempts to film a new stunt for the "Mighty Sponge," and Sully puts his life on the line for an inventor carrying on his father's lifesaving legacy.

Products featured: HexLight, Mighty Thirsty, Cold Fire

Found
2 Heart Wrench Aug 26th, 2010 It's a rocky road for a 16-year-old boy, and survivor of 5 heart surgeries, who invents a cool tool. Successful inventor brothers roll the dice on a new invention, and a victim of identity theft invents a way to combat electronic pickpockets.

Products featured: Select-A-Wrench, Swivel Sweeper Clean Sweep, Secure Sleeves from Identity Stronghold

Found
3 Bear Market Jan 18th, 2011 Inventors gamble everything on a revolutionary razor, a man creates a snack food safe that puts Sully on a closed set with a hungry grizzly, and celebrity DJ Kennedy pitches her friend Dr. Drew Pinsky an invention designed to keep prescription drugs safe.

Products featured: ShaveMate, Fridge Locker, RX Locker

Found
4 From the Jaws of Victory Feb 1st, 2011 A robotic whisk has design flaws, and a food-wrapping invention is pitched, along with gravity-defying workout boots.

Products featured: RoboStir, Wraptor Teeth, Power Jumpers

Found
5 The Cutting Edge Feb 8th, 2011 A young inventor hooks Sully with a collapsing trashcan, but a manufacturing short cut may destroy the product's future. Two friends think a simple piece of plastic can keep you safe from intruders, and a legendary knife man gets a chance at one last pitch.

Products featured: Collapsican, KeyPout, The Amazing Knife

Found
6 The New Gun In Town Jan 25th, 2011 Sully and assistant Kennedy head to a Chicago home and houseware convention to hear some sometimes crazy pitches for the "next big thing," including an easy stringer and a tater tornado. Then, Sully heads to the circus to test a revolutionary new needle.

Products featured: EZ Stringer, (Boardwalk) Tater Tornado, One Second Needle

Found
7 Wave of Success Feb 15th, 2011 An inventor risks everything to get his Stadium Back chair - and his face - on the air. A mother of four puts it all on the line with her simple alternative to the chip clip. Then, Sully and Kennedy try out an electric skateboard.

Products featured: Stadium Back, Ba'Noodle, E-Glide

Found
8 Fighting Shape Feb 22nd, 2011 Sully puts out a call for fitness products; a female fitness star comes back to the spotlight with her "Chest Magic" machine. Also, BMXers test two new concepts: one, a "bicycle meets elliptical trainer," and the other, a "bicycle meets rowing machine."

Products featured: Chest Magic, StreetStrider, RowBike

Found
9 Fishing for Gold March 1st, 2011 Sully mixes business and pleasure testing a Frisbee flying fishing tool. An inventor also hooks Sully's heart with a fitness tool a man invents to save his best friend's life. Sully and Kennedy field test a patent pro's new suction device.

Products featured: Cool Caster, Lightning Rod, Tie Pods

Found
10 On a Wing and a Prayer March 8th, 2011 Sully shares his tricks of the trade with 3 junior pitchmen and endures some of the adults' less successful pitches. A fighter pilot pitches his new fitness tool, and a friend comes out of his own pitchman retirement with "Flippin Sticks."

Products featured: Shower Pal, FT101 Fitness Trainer, Flippin Stick

Found

Gallery

The original trailer for the show.
A sneak peak promo from Discovery about the second season's premiere.
The intro for the second season.
A blooper reel of "Fighting Shape," "The Cutting Edge," "The New Gun In Town" and "On a Wing and a Prayer".
A blooper reel of "Passing the Torch," "From the Jaws of Victory (2011)" and "The New Gun In Town".
A blooper reel of "Heart Wrench" and "The Cutting Edge".
A blooper reel of "Passing the Torch", "The New Gun In Town," "Wave of Success," "From the Jaws of Victory (2011)" and "Heart Wrench".

External Links

References