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Robert Butler, The Most Successful Director You've Never Heard Of


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In case anyone hasn't noticed, I've been compensating for a lifetime of not having watched television, and a decade of not having watched films - and I've been compensating in a big way.

Completely organically, I've discovered a gentleman named Robert Butler - a man whom I'd certainly never heard of before, and a man whom I suspect is a household name only within the industry. However, here's why every single person with the slightest bit of interest in television (and film) should be instantly familiar with the name Robert Butler.

Let's take *just* the pilot episodes he directed, and nothing else. I reiterate: These are the pilot episodes only - look what we have here:

Nov 27, 1988: Star Trek - "The Cage" (Butler completed this work in Feb, 1965, but it didn't air for over 23 years; it was shown in a different form as "The Menagerie," of which he directed Part Two.)

Sep 17, 1965: Hogan's Heroes - "The Informer" (This is the only one out of 168 episodes to be filmed in black-and-white.)

Jan 12, 1966: Batman - "Hi Diddle Riddle" (The first appearance of Frank Gorshin as The Riddler.)

May  9, 1975: The Blue Knight - "The Blue Knight" was a TV movie which served as the pilot for this crime series starring George Kennedy.

Jan 15, 1981: Hill Street Blues - "Hill Street Station" - Do you see how formidable this list is becoming?

Oct   1, 1982: Remington Steele - "Tempered Steele" - A relatively minor series, but still made it to 94 episodes.

Mar   3, 1985: Moonlighting - "Moonlighting" - Bruce Willis, anyone?

May 11, 1991: Sisters - "Moving In, Moving Out, Moving On" - This seemingly "small" series had 127 episodes.

Sep 12, 1993: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - "Pilot" - Teri Hatcher

Butler also directed many episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and essentially began Kurt Russell's career - he also did a *lot* more than I've listed here (I've listed only the pilots that he directed).

I think that *just* directing the pilot of "Star Trek" is enough to make Butler famous, but considering everything he did on top of that? This man is an absolute legend - and I'd never even heard of him.

Sometimes it takes a non-expert to shed light on a subject, and I hope I've done that here - Mr. Butler deserves it.

Screenshot 2017-02-12 at 11.44.18 AM.pngScreenshot 2017-02-12 at 11.45.02 AM.png


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