In a sea of podcasts about film, TV and binging habits, a new podcast distinguishes itself among the rest. “Pilot Co-Pilots!,” created by Evan Watkins and Maya Boudreau, currently has five episodes up on iTunes, where it has consistently been featured on the “New & Noteworthy” section of the Film & TV podcasts. Watkins and Boudreau are both Tisch graduates, where they met in the Playwrights Horizons studio and have since relocated to Chicago.
The purpose of the podcast is to examine new television shows, specifically pilot episodes.
“We kind of put the two ideas of watching TV and having a podcast together and started researching and there’s really nothing out there that’s about new TV,” Boudreau said. “I’m an actor, so I go out for pilots throughout the year, and so new pilots, new TV is something that I’m always interested in.”
With the vast array of TV series erupting from the convoluted amalgamation of networks and streaming services, pilot episodes have become more important than ever in helping viewers decide what to watch.
“There has to be some sort of glimmer in a pilot, some sort of gem that you continue to want to watch. And it happens — sometimes,” said Watkins.
For people who are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of TV and can’t decide which pilots to dedicate their time to, “Pilot Co-Pilots!” is the perfect resource.
“We thought it would be kind of cool to sit through [pilots] for people who may not necessarily have the time to see all the stuff that’s out there,” Boudreau said.
Watkins and Boudreau review a pilot each episode and predict the likelihood of their watching more of the series. Shows they have discussed so far include “The Family,” “Fuller House,” “The People vs. OJ Simpson” and “Crowded.” Of the four, the one they most recommend watching is “The People vs. OJ,” which Watkins says is doing a good job of condensing a huge story.
But reviewing pilots is only one part of the podcast. The duo’s favorite part of the podcast is interviewing the guests they bring on to talk about their careers in the industry. For their first episode, they interviewed the legendary George Wendt (“Cheers”) and have since had other actors, comedians and industry professionals. Future guests include Jack Falahee (“How to Get Away with Murder”), a fellow NYU alum who once played Watkin’s brother in a play at NYU.
In fact, Watkins says many of the people they’ve had on the podcast are people they met at NYU. They described NYU as a great place to cultivate relationships, bringing Watkins to a place where he’s now writing spec scripts for TV while Boudreau focuses on on-camera acting. This career path has led them to the podcast, their current project.
On the next episode, they will be reviewing CBS’s “Rush Hour” with guest Michael Potts (“The Book of Mormon”). It will be available on iTunes April 12.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 11 print edition. Email Andres Osorio at [email protected]