So recently I discovered a rejected Nicktoon, on youtube a anime-like steampunk action adventure called Constant Payne. the show was created by Micah Wright, it never aired on Nickelodeon due to the wake of 9/11 and an impending Writers Guild strike, but I’ll get to that shortly.
The pilot revolved around a crime fighting genius named Doc Payne and his teenage daughter Amanda Payne who must work together to stop Doc’s evil brother from taking over the world. This was going to be Nickelodeon’s first action-adventure series, the reason for that was cause the network didn’t know how to make a show action series that could appeal to the male and female demographic. Wright came up with a perfect solution by making Amanda the main character (to appeal to girls) and her Father an ass-kicker (to appeal to boys). The test screening of the show was a complete success and Nick picked up the series for 26 episodes.
Now heres where everyone was completely disappointed. the moment the show was picked up the network heads kept going on and on about how the show was “too violent” for a “kid friendly” network (irony would later come knocking on their door in four years with Avatar). Next, Nickelodeon is apparently a non-union company (like 4kids but more likeable), but Wright signed a union card for the Writers Guild of America and didn’t know this, it also didn’t help much that there was word of a strike coming.
Prehaps, the most understandable reason was because of 9/11. In one scene during the pilot Amanda is driving an airship between two buildings that just happened to look like the twin towers. After the attacks, Nickelodeon decided they didn’t want to make any action shows (for now), much less one where the main character’s mother had been killed by terrorists and where the father was dealing with raising his daughter alone and attempting to keep her from following in his dangerous footsteps.
All and all this was an excellent pilot, I would love to see this guy (Wright) make more episodes or even make a web series out of the pilot.
To bask in this unsung pilot’s glory here’s the link: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7fR6gLQ2C8)
RANK: 5 out of 5