Pilot (Back to You)

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Back To You episode
Back To You S01E01.png
Chuck and Kelly shoot their first promo since Chuck's return to WURG
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 1
Directed byJames Burrows
Written bySteven Levitan
Christopher Lloyd
Production codeBTY-101
Original air dateSeptember 19, 2007
Guest appearance(s)

Spencer Knowles as Mail Boy
Adam Busch as Production Assistant
Michael Richard Robinson as Weatherman
Erin Ross as Darcy Tanner

Episode chronology
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"Fish Story"
List of Back to You episodes

"Pilot" is the first episode of the first season of the situation comedy Back to You. It aired on September 19, 2007.


In the 90s, Chuck Darling moves from his anchor post at a small T.V. markets news program in Pittsburgh to a much larger market in Denver.

Ten years later, Chuck is in L.A. and is fired after inadvertently going off on a profanity-filled rant that becomes widespread via online outlets (Kelly states that she saw it on YouTube).

Soon after, Chuck's back in Pittsburgh and reuniting with his former co-anchor, Kelly Carr, much to her protest; however, sports correspondent Marsh McGinley is thrilled.

Later, the reason behind Chuck and Kelly's friction is revealed. They slept together on a drunken New Year's Eve which resulted in Chuck becoming the father of Kelly's 10-year-old daughter. Chuck meets his daughter, Gracie, although he does not tell her that he is her father. At the end of the episode, Chuck calls Kelly, telling her that Gracie is spectacular.

Production details[edit]

Creators Levitan and Lloyd wrote the script for "Pilot", signed Grammer and Heaton, and brought in Burrows before approaching any of the networks.[1]

The scene which features Chuck explaining to Kelly his various promotions was re-shot between the filming for the pilot episode and the original broadcast of the episode. Fox featured clips featuring the original scene during promos for the Pilot.[2][3]


Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle described it as a "retro-sitcom" due to its multiple cameras and onscreen audience.[4] Charlie McCollum of the Mercury News felt that Back to You is this "season's highest-profile attempt to revitalize the traditional sitcom."[1]

Mike Duffy of the Detroit Free Press felt that the first two episodes of Back to You found a "quality groove" and delivered laughs. He described the shows news studio as a "natural for loopy, literate good fun" and thought that Grammer and Heaton made a good team.[5] Vinay Menon of The Toronto Star felt that based on the first two episodes, Back to You had elements in common with NewsRadio, Just Shoot Me!, Murphy Brown, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.[6]

"Pilot" debuted on a "highly competitive night", in terms of ratings.[7] This episode was viewed by 9.44 million viewers upon its original broadcast, finishing first place in its timeslot. It also achieved a 3.1 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. A noticeable year-to-year improvement was shown compared to the previous occupier of the timeslot, Bones.

It ranked an impressive 16th of the week's network programming which was higher than any other Fox series with the exception of The Simpsons and Family Guy.


  1. ^ a b McCollum, Charlie. "Can 'Back to You' save the sitcom?". Mercury News. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
  2. ^ Grammer, Kelsey (Actor), Heaton, Patricia (Actress) (2007). Summer 2007 (Summer Promo Five and Six) (.ASX) (Television Promo). 20th Century Studios: Fox Broadcasting Company. Event occurs at 00:51. Retrieved 2007-12-08.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Lloyd, Christopher (writer), Levitan, Steven (writer), Burrows, James (director), Grammer, Kelsey (actor), Heaton, Patricia (actress) (2007-09-19). "Pilot". Back to You (TV series). Season 1. Episode 1. 05:41 (excluding commercials) minutes in. Fox Broadcasting Company.
  4. ^ Goodman, Tim (2007-09-19). "Review: 'Back to You' treads old sitcom turf". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
  5. ^ Duffy, Mike (2007-09-19). "'Back to You' packs chuckles you can trust". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2007-09-23.[dead link]
  6. ^ Menon, Vinay (2007-09-19). "Back to You heads in right direction". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
  7. ^ Gorman, Steve (2007-09-18). "Frasier's Kelsey Grammer returns in "Back to You"". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-09-23.

External links[edit]