Pilot Season (2004)

Isla plays Butterfly

Director: Sam Seder
Writer(s): Charles Fisher and Sam Seder
Genre: Comedy, Satire, Mockumentary
Filming: Filmed in Hollywood, probably in 2004.
Viewing figures:
Runtime: The 6 episodes shown on TV each lasted 24 minutes. The webisodes were shorter, lasting between 5 and 10 minutes each.


In this series, a documentary crew follows the lives of several desperate actors, agents and studio execs during Hollywood’s annual, intensely competitive television industry feeding frenzy known as Pilot Season.



Sam Seder … as Max Rabin
Sarah Silverman … as Susan Underman
Jon Benjamin … as Ken Fold
Andy Dick … as Jason Reemer
Ross Brockle … as Russ Chockley
David Cross … as Ben
James Frain … as Jeremy Pilodes
Andy Dick … as Jason


Air Dates

US, on television – First broadcast on Trio TV nightly between September 6th and 10th 2004.

Web episodes – Premiered online on MyDamnChannel.com on Monday 20th April 2009, with new episodes following each Monday. Ended in September 2009.


Character & Episode Information

This low-key series was broadcast across several mediums. It started out as a TV mini-series being shown on Trio TV, with 6 30-minute episodes. In 2009 it was announced that the full series of 30 episodes would be published weekly on MyDamnChannel.com. At the moment I am unsure whether the 30 webisodes are the same as the original television episodes just cut up, or whether they are different.

Isla’s character, Butterfly, is a personal trainer with an attitude. She teaches Pilodes (like pilates, but you sweat less, they tell you), and has a long-lost father whose recent action film is being turned into a series, which Susan wants a role in. We first meet Butterfly when she is living in Lincoln, Nebraska, with her boyfriend – former actor Russ Chockley. Butterfly is determined she doesn’t want to move to Los Angeles with him, but gives in, and soon reveals she used to be an actress herself. Butterfly settles right into Los Angeles. Russ’s manager Max gets her a job as a Pilodes instructor, which enables her to meet famous people – including other managers and agents – and she very quickly discovers what she really wants in life, and won’t stop til she gets it…

Episodes broadcast on TV
01. “Hope Springs Eternal”
02. “Comeback Kid”
03. “And Just For All”
04. “Reems of Fun”
05. “Cat Fight”
06. “Reunited”


01. That Was Then … This Is Now
02. Temporary Hiatus
03. Ready … Aim … Fired?
04. When In Rome
05. No Money In Small Farming
06. Client Promotion
07. Hollywood Party
08. Playing The Bitch
09. The Night Is Still Party
10. Arraignment TV
11. Secret
12. Jail Time
13. Emmys For Love
14. Hip Type A
15. Shit Of Gold
16. TV’s John Devlin
17. Trying To Be A Man
18. Poach For Poach
19. Hollywood Is A Prison
20. Fishbine Retarded Kid
21. Just Be Honest
22. I’m As Responsible As Anybody
23. … and Scene.
24. I Reall Don’t Feel That Bad
25. Working For Your Dad
26. Baby Photos
27. Miscommunication Breakdown
28. Party Shoes On
29. I Have A Secret
30. There Is A Forgiveness Machine

View the Episode Guide



Pilot Season Pilot Season Pilot Season Pilot Season Pilot Season

Photos: Gallery at Isla Fisher Web
Videos: Videos at Isla Fisher Web



• This series is a follow-up to/spin-off of the 1997 film Who’s the Caboose, which also starred Sarah Silverman as Susan Underman.


Quotes: Isla, Cast & Crew

Sam Seder: (writer/director) “Pilot Season is a perfect fit for MyDamnChannel.com. We created ‘Pilot Season’ by letting really talented comedians do what they do best, with no interference from suits (or those who wear them), and that’s MyDamnChannel’s modus operandi. I’m proud of ‘Pilot Season’ not just because it’s funny and features an amazing cast, but also because we had a chance to make a mini-series as a sequel to a movie four people had seen…It speaks to the wonderful phenomenon of failing upwards — a hallmark of Hollywood, which ‘Pilot Season’ explores in detail.””


Quotes: Character

Butterfly: “Wow, that’s a really weird question! Yeah I was – funnily enough – I was a child actor. But I gave that up. I mean it’s a really superficial, childish thing to do. It’s totally a shallow business. And then I moved into modelling.”

Read more character quotes in the Episode Guide



NYTimes.com: ” ”Pilot Season,” the first original comedy series on the cable channel Trio, knows its Hollywood people. The show, which begins tonight, has a little of the flavor of Larry David’s partly improvised HBO series ”Curb Your Enthusiasm.” With an ensemble cast of intertwined characters, it also feels a bit like one of Bruce Wagner’s Hollywood novels. ”Pilot Season,” a true mini-series (it runs six nights in a row), is cynical, sophisticated and a lot of grim fun.”

MSNBC.com: “It has a razor-sharp cast including Sarah Silverman, David Cross and Andy Dick as well as Sam Seder (a talk show host on Air America Radio), who is also its director and co-writer.”

Entertainment Weekly: “You want it to be as funny as a Christopher Guest movie, and it’s not. You can’t help thinking that there are real-life Earls out there whose true stories would be even funnier. But seeing how Pilot Season is slated to feature David Cross, Andy Dick, and Isla Fisher in upcoming guest roles, you’ll probably want to come back each Monday to see what happens next. ”

LATimes.com: “One of the fall season’s best series will run for only six episodes on a cable network of whose existence you are quite possibly not aware … So it is with “Pilot Season,” a technically modest yet impressively staffed comedy that is smart, funny and tonally assured.”

Slate.com: “Pilot Season is a pointed, often wicked satire, not only of Hollywood mores, but of the sitcom genre itself. […] The humor derives not from traditional gags, but from the disparity between the characters’ perceptions of themselves and our perceptions of them.”


Fisher Fantastic

This was FUNNY! Unfortunately Isla was only in 9 episodes of the web series, but she was very good in her role as Butterfly and it felt like a different role for her. I really enjoyed the spoof/satire style and the extremely deluded characters were very amusing to watch – the writing and acting were brilliant. Butterfly was a particular highlight for me – maybe I’m biased – and her change of heart/personality after the first episode was hilarious to see! This gets extra Fisher Fantastic points because it is available for everyone to watch free online. Definitely recommended for anyone who enjoys a humourous, intelligent look at Hollywood, acting, and ‘celebrity’.



We are not aware of any promotion Isla might have done for this series.


Related Links

News & Updates for Pilot Season at Isla Fisher Web

Official DVD Site – purchase the DVDs
??? – watch all episodes here


TV.com – short episode list/guide
Wired.com – brief article on show plus interview with MyDamnChannel founder
AboutJamesFrain.com – fansite for actor James Frain, with a collection of reviews from the show’s 2004 release
PRNewsWire.com – press release announcing broadcast on MyDamnChannel.com


Last Updated: October 4th 2012