Toby Makes a Million (lost MTV2 comedy series pilot; 2016-2017)
Robert L. Hines is an American comedian and actor. He is most well known for his Toby Jones character, used in the commercial parody YouTube videos uploaded by the Chicago sketch comedy group Big Dog Eat Child; the most popular ones being "Jones' Good-Ass BBQ & Foot Massage" and "Jones' Big-Ass Truck Rental & Storage". The videos have gained multiple million views on the video-sharing platform, and Toby Jones became a classic internet meme.
Hines eventually planned to use his character in a television series. The series was called Toby Makes a Million, and a pilot was fully made, but never released.
According to Hines, the show's premise would have involved Toby Jones opening up a new business every week, selling items relating to said business, then moving onto another business for each new episode. The show's pilot revolved around the bottled water business. Hines also specified that it was not his idea for the pilot to be about bottled water, and "it was really hard to make water funny; however, we found a way and it was hilarious."
Cast resumés reveal an interview segment from the pilot titled "man on the street", although details are unknown.
On January 28th, 2014, Hines released a video pitch for a television series starring Toby Jones. Not much was thought of the pitch until January 22nd, 2020, when YouTuber Wavywebsurf released a video on the history of the character. A video interview with Hines was released the next day, in which Hines brings up the pitch and reveals how an actual pilot episode for a series was made.
After the pitch was uploaded, Hines struck a deal with the Los Angeles-based production company Asylum Entertainment, with Hines later moving out from Chicago to settle in the Southern Californian city. Toby Makes a Million's pilot was produced from December 2016 to February 2017, and eventually was sold to MTV2, who wanted to make a full series based on the idea. Sometime during planning however, everyone involved in making the show was fired during a downsize of the MTV2 staff, and the show was cancelled before it went into proper production.
Ramiro Castro Jr.'s resumé also lists an earlier pilot called Jones' Big-Ass TV Show, which he worked on with Asylum during October-November 2015 as the producer and editor. Hines did not mention this during his interview, and it is unknown whether this was a completed project or a failed attempt that went nowhere.
As of December 2020, no footage, screenshots or a script of the pilot has resurfaced online. Hines mentions that the pilot still probably exists in a vault, not having access to it as Asylum kept it to themselves after the show's cancellation, making it unlikely to ever release.
- Wikipedia page on Robert L. Hines. Retrieved 13 Feb '20