Picks and Pans Review: The Best TV Shows That Never Were

UPDATED 08/23/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/23/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Mon., Aug. 16, 8 p.m. ET)

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Finally airing after two years on ABC's shelf, this summer special turns a bunch of lemons into refreshing lemonade.

Best TV Shows, based on the book Unsold Television Pilot by coexecutive producer Lee Goldberg, is a breezy hour of clips from sample episodes of series that the networks decided against ordering. Not surprisingly, most of them stink—which is why the special is such a good time.

You'll slap your head in disbelief—try not to hurt yourself—at the idea of John Denver as a singing FBI agent. You'll wonder whether Joe Penny as a samurai district attorney would have been funnier—unintentionally—than John Belushi's samurai character on Saturday Night Live. And you'll think Scott Bakula is pretty down-to-earth in Star Trek: Enterprise after you see him in a busted pilot as a wacky scientist who accidentally merges with a satellite. For tube historians, this is a must-see.

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