Recently we crossed paths again with an old TV pilot from 2006 that bears rewatching (apologies to those who have already seen it): PilotLite – Grounds Zero. Called Grounds Zero after its fictitious namesake café, this 25-minute episode is among the more entertaining TV pilots you’ll find — whether or not you like coffee shops (but particularly if you do).
The pilot sports some of our favorite café stereotypes: the bad tipper (courtesy of The Daily Show‘s Wyatt Cenac), the belligerent barista (wonderfully played by MADtv‘s Mo Collins), the guy blabbing on his mobile phone in line, the café manager’s replacement of a capable semi-automatic with an evil superautomatic machine, the decaf/soy-milk hypochondriac, and various other café customer archetypes. There’s even 30 Rock‘s Jack McBrayer (aka “Kenneth the Page“) playing essentially the same character.
Given that the quality of this program is far superior to many of the anemic TV series that actually do get funded (10 Items or Less, anyone?), we can only guess that the network programmers must have thought that the material didn’t have legs past a couple of episodes.
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