"The Pilot"
(Original Air Date: September 28, 1996 )

Pictures for "Pilot"

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Thrown out by his wife and stuck in a job he hates, Gary Hobson is a stockbroker who's luck begins to change when a cat shows up at his door with a copy of the Chicago Sun-Times - for the next day.

Opening Credits:
Kyle Chandler
Shanesia Davis
and Fisher Stevens

Created by: Patrick Q Page, Vik Rubenfeld, Ian Abrams
Developed by: Bob Brush

Guest Starring:
Milo O'Shea
Ron Dean
Felicity Huffman
Marc Vann
and Tom Noonan

Music by: W G Snuffy Walden
Edited by: Randy Roberts, A.C.E.
Production Designer: Guy Barnes
Director of Photography: Rene Ohashi C.S.C.
Co-Producers: Patrick Q Page & Vik Rubenfeld
Co-Executive Producer Ian Abrams
Co-Executive Producer: Richard Heus
Teleplay by Bob Brush and Ian Abrams
Story by Patrick Q Page, Vik Rubenfeld & Ian Abrams
Directed by Michael Dinner

Cast of Characters:

Character (Transcription Code) Actor

Gary Hobson (GH) Kyle Chandler
Chuck Fishman (CF) Fisher Stevens
Monologue (M) Fisher Stevens
Marissa Clark (MC) Shanesia Davis
Sherman (SH) Milo O'Shea
Detective Zeke Crumb (ZC) Ron Dean
Detective Tagliotti (DT) Felicity Huffman
Phil Pritchard (PP) Marc Vann
Frank Price (FP) Tom Noonan

Fan (Fan) Michael Bacarella
Homeless Guy (HG) Maury Cooper
Shaunnessey (S) James "Ike" Eichling
Cop at Newsstand (CN) Neil Flynn
Exterminator (Ext) Don Forston
Marcia Hobson (MH) Marianne Hagan
Marksman (MM) Tracy Letts
Guard at Bank (BG) Malcolm Rothman
Cop at Bank (CB) Jeff Still
Charlie (C) Bill Visteen
Friendly Guy (FG) Alan Wilder
Newscaster (NC) Linda MacLennan

Uncredited actors...
Snow's Cat (SC)
Spike (Spike)
Up Yours guy (UY) ??
Radio Voice (Radio) ??
Announcer (Annce) ??
Hotel Operator (Oper) ??
O'Grady (OG) ??
Cop #2 (Cop2) ??
Cop #3 (Cop3) ??
Man at bank (Man) ??
Arresting Officer (AO) ??

% {Opening scene....Chuck's monologue while we see scenes of Chicago in black and white time-lapsed photography....big clock zooming from 2:45pm to 3:07pm}

M: What if you knew, beyond a doubt, what was going to happen tomorrow?

% {cars zooming, people zooming}

M: Sure, I know it's crazy. But, what if you did?

% {The El zooms past a bench....where a man (Frank Price) is sitting next to a billboard which reads, "Chicago Sun-Times. Tomorrow's News Today" scene turns to color}

M: Whether you'd be rich or poor; a hero or a loser; lucky in love, unlucky in life. What would you do?

% {We see Gary on the train with a bag of groceries and a bouquet of roses. Gary smells roses.}

M: What if, by some magic, you found the power to really change things?

% {Gary walking down sidewalk, whistling}

M: People, events, maybe even your life? Would you even know where to start?

% {Gary stops at a house and tries his key in the lock....it doesn't work}

M: Maybe you *can't* know. Until it happens.

% {Gary tries to get the attention of his wife, so she can open the door for him}

GH: Marcia. Marcia, it's me.

[ Gary hears a window open upstairs. He backs up to see Marcia looking down at him ]

% {Gary hears a window open upstairs. He backs up to see Marcia looking down at him}

GH: Hon. Hon? Happy Anniversary!

MH: Head's up!

% {Marcia throws a suitcase of clothes out the window to Gary. Opening theme music begins, then break for commercial....}


% {Scene: Gary's Hotel Room....Radio on nightstand changes from 6:29 to 6:30am and radio comes on...}

Radio: Good morning. It's Monday in Chicago, and here's what's in the news today. The White House announced it will *not* attend trade talks with Japan. The President called his decision final, and reaction...

% {Gary turns off radio, sits up in bed, rubs his eyes, and looks at his picture of Marcia. Someone knocks four times}

GH: Marcia.

% {Gary pulls on pants and rushes for door}

GH: Marcia?

CF: Hey! Happy Anniversary, or whatever one says. Cruller?

% {Chuck watches Gary shaving}

CF: So, no news, huh?

GH: Nope. I called her a dozen times, all I got was the machine.

CF: Well, that's an improvement. Last week she was hangin' up on you.

GH: Um-hmm. Just hope she's all right, that's all.

CF: She's a lawyer, Gary. Of course she's all right.

GH: I don't know. Maybe I ought to stop by and see her or somethin'.

CF: Yeah. Maybe this time she'll toss you a lamp.

GH: Don't you have anything nice to say?

CF: The Cubs look good this year.

GH: The Cubs stink. And I hate crullers.

% {Gary puts his shirt on, Chuck checks himself out in the mirror}

CF: So do I. Look, Gar. I'm your best friend. How do I put this delicately?

GH: You think it's over.

CF: Fenito. Kaput. Dead as a doornail. She threw you out, you're living in a hotel. Doesn't that tell you something?

GH: My towels are free.

SC: Meowwww. {thump}

% {Gary goes to see who's at the door. When he opens the door you can see 67, the hotel room number}

GH: What's this?

CF: Looks like a cat on a newspaper.

% {Headline reads, "President Okays Trade Talks" Gary picks up paper and pushes the cat away with his foot}

GH: Shoo. Go on. Go on.

SC: Mrroowwww.

CF: Since when do they have cats in hotel rooms?

GH: I didn't order this paper.

CF: Maybe its to keep away the rats. Oh, no. I hate rats.

GH: That's funny.

CF: Rats?

GH: No, this headline. It's wrong. I just heard on the radio...

% {Gary turns paper over "Bulls Beat Magic by 10. Jordan Scores 36 Points"}

CF: Hey. Come on. We're late for work. We gotta get a move on it. Pritchard's on the war-path again. If we don't start generating profits, we're not gonna have a job tomorrow.

% {Gary continues to flip through the paper..... "Wheat Jumps +30 in Heavy Trading"... phone rings and Gary rushes to answer it, using the shortest route possible, which happens to be by trotting across the bed}

GH: Marcia?

Oper: Good morning. This is your wake-up call. Have a nice Monday.

CF: You know what? You're hopeless. I'll see you at the office. And try to come in before lunch.

GH: Yeah.

% {Chuck leaves. Gary continues to flip through the paper... in Metro section: "Homeless Man Wins $23 Million Lottery}

GH: Why do some guys have all the luck?

% {Gary throws the paper out and starts to leave}

GH: This is gonna be one hell of a Monday.

[ Camera zooms in on pape% {Camera zooms in on paper's date.....Tuesday, November 12}

% {Scene: Gary walking outside near newsstand}

SH: Well, well. Aren't we dapper today? Did you buy that jacket pre-wrinkled?

GH: Sherman, don't ask.

SH: Here you go - the usual.

% {Sherman hands Gary a paper}

GH: No, I already read it.

SH: Oh, buyin' from the competition, huh?

GH: I didn't buy it.

SH: Well, I'm feelin' better already.

% {Gary smiles}

SH: There - an actual smile. You know, kid, you gotta take better care of yourself. Try eatin' somethin' other than gum.

% {Gary pops a stick of gum in his mouth and hands money to Sherman}

SH: No, that's ok. It's on me.

GH: Thanks, Sherman.

% {Gary starts to leave}

SH: Hey, kid!

GH: Yeah.

SH: Who do you like? The Bulls or the Magic?

GH: The Bulls took it by ten last night.

SH: Where did you hear that?

GH: I read it in the paper.

SH: Wha?

% {Gary walks away. Sherman looks at *his* papers that have the headline, "Magic arrive tonight to meet the Bulls"}

% {Scene: Strauss & Associates, reception desk. Gary enters as phone rings.}

MC: Strauss and Associates, can you hold please? Thank you. Good morning, Gary.

GH: How do you always know its me?

MC: That's easy. Got a nose for gabardine.

GH: Did you get the dog?

MC: Nope - it fell through. I'm back on the waiting list.

GH: Sorry

MC: Don't be. I hate "sorry." 'Course I could always get lucky, win 15K and buy myself a pooch.

GH: Good luck.

% {Pritchard comes down the hall and sees Gary, who is late again.}

PP: Hobson.

% {Gary quickly starts to walk away as Marissa's phone rings again. Pritchard catches up with him.}

MC: Same to you. Strauss and Associates, can you hold please?

PP: Lets see, almost 10 o'clock. Thinking of doing some trading today?

GH: That's right, Mr Pritchard.

PP: Tell you what. While you're at it, try making a profit. Or would that be breaking your string?

% {Gary and Pritchard meet up with Chuck, who is catching a ball}

CF: Ha, ha, ha, ha. That was a good one.

PP: Can it.

% {Pritchard grabs the ball and leaves}

GH: I hate that guy. I hate this tie.

CF: Well, you're gonna like this. I got a hot tip with a capital "H."

GH: From where?

CF: The men's room. This one can't miss.

GH: That's what you said the last time.

CF: Trust me.

% {Scene: Gary and Chuck's cubicles, later in day....}

CF: Aw, man! What happened? Why me?

% {Gary checks his computer screen}

GH: I think you just lost your shirt.

CF: Yeah. I never learn, do I? I gotta find myself a new men's room before I lose the rest of my sleeves.

GH: Hey Chuck. What's the point of all this?

CF: What?

GH: This - what we do - what's the point of this?

CF: What do you think? We're here for our health? The point is to make money, accrue power, wipe the other guy out. Things very near and dear to my heart.

GH: Well, I thought the point was to, ah, make a living, get married, have kids, the "American Dream."

CF: Where you been? That was in the fifties.

GH: You know how I got started in this business? 'Cause Marcia wanted to go to law school.

CF: Wow, look at winter wheat. It's really movin'.

GH: Don't touch it. It went up 30 yesterday, it's gonna drop.

CF: Gar, wake up. Yesterday was Sunday, the market was closed.

GH: I read the paper.

CF: What paper?

GH: This morning - the headline. It said, "Winter Wheat jumps +30"

% {Gary and Chuck watch the ticker, showing wheat price at +30. They look at each other, then look back to the ticker, then look at each other again and say, in unison...}

GH: Nah

CF: Nah

% {Scene: Gary's hotel room. Gary and Chuck burst into room and look towards the trash can.}

CF: Where?

GH: There. They cleaned the room. They cleaned the room.

% {Scene: Alley with trash truck driving away, The Paper in the back. Gary and Chuck chase after the truck yelling...}

[ Gary and Chuck stop running, exhausted. The trash truck has successfully gotten away. ]

CF: Wait! Hold it! Hey, stop! No! Stop! Stop that truck!

GH: Hey, stop! Hey! Stop! Hold it!

% {Gary and Chuck stop running, exhausted. The trash truck has successfully gotten away.}

CF: Why? I don't believe this.

% {Scene: Gary and Chuck at bar}

CF: I don't believe this.

GH: Neither do I.

CF: Something like this comes along once in a lifetime, and you lose it.

GH: What?

CF: I'm gonna kill myself.

GH: What are you, what, what are you talking about here, a newspaper that tells the future?

CF: Shhhh.. Look. You saw the numbers, right? We rallied at 30. Not 29, not 31, but 30. Just like you read. Now how do, how do you explain that?

GH: Coincidence.

CF: Coincidence? Did you read the sports pages?

GH: Yeah, kinda.

CF: UCLA vs. Kentucky

GH: UCLA, 95 - 85.

CF: World cup soccer. Brazil and Italy.

GH: Brazil, 3 - 2.

CF: Yes! You've been reading the soccer scores.

GH: Alright, well tell me this. Where does it come from?

CF: The newspaper fairy. Who knows? The point is it's gone. Unless it comes back again.

GH: You know, this is crazy. I'm gonna go call Marcia.

CF: You know, that's just like you. Heaven passes right under your nose, and you don't even blink.

GH: Well, maybe she'll talk to me.

FG: Gary Hobson?

GH: Huh? Yeah.

FG: Process server.

GH: Huh?

FG: Have a nice divorce.

% {Process Server gives Gary divorce papers}

CF: Sorry, buddy.

% {Scene: Gary walking down sidewalk, stops to look at TVs in store window. TV shows "Illinois

Winner." A homeless guy walks up to Gary, coughing....}

HG: Hey, mister. Can you spare some change?

% {Gary digs some change out of his pocket and gives it to guy}

HG: Thanks, mister. You're a nice man.

GH: Yeah, well, what do I do now?

HG: Anything can happen.

% {Homeless Guy gestures to TV which now shows another homeless man getting a giant check, just like Gary read in the paper}

% {Scene: Gary's hotel room. 6:30 am. Radio comes on...}

Radio: Good morning. It's Tuesday in Chicago, and here's what's happening....

% {Gary stops radio and rolls onto his back in bed. We hear a "thump." Gary sits bolt upright in bed, goes to door, looks down for paper......but no paper is there. Gary checks the hall and goes back into his room.}

SC: Meoooowww. {thump}

% {Gary goes back to door, and this time the paper is there. The cat runs into the hotel room, Gary picks up the paper, checks the date.....Wednesday, November 13....}

GH: Anything can happen.

% {Gary goes back inside room, closes door, opens door again and looks around, closes door}

SC: Mrrowww.

% {Gary opens door again and tosses out the cat, then break for commercial...}


% {Scene: Sherman's newsstand...}

SH: Hey! What happened to you?

GH: Sherman.

SH: Get mugged by an iron? Sleep at the cleaners? And a smile! Like the cat who ate the canary.

% {Gary pops a stick of gum in his mouth}

SH: So, we're makin' some changes, huh?

GH: You might say that.

SH: Well, nice to see you back on your feet again. Paper?

GH: Nope. Saw that one already.

SH: You're gonna put me out of a job.

GH: You'll live.

SH: Yeah, I suppose so.

GH: Thanks, Sherman.

% {Gary pays for gum and starts to walk away}

SH: Hey, kid. What is it? That canary you ate.

GH: Don't know exactly yet. But I'm gonna find out.

% {Gary passes a man carrying a boom-box, which is currently giving a weather report...}

Radio: The weather today in Chicago is going to be beautiful...

GH: Hey, don't believe it. You're gonna need an umbrella.

Radio: Zero chance of rain....

% {Scene: Gary's cubicle at Strauss & Associates}

GH: And now...

CF: Hey, man. How ya doin'?

GH: Busy.

CF: Listen, it if means anything, I'm really sorry about everything that's been goin' on for you, ya know, with Marcia and everything..... It came?

GH: It came.

CF: Yes! Yes, yes, yes! There *is* a God! Ok, so tell me, what'd we buy?

GH: We?

CF: You. Just tell me, what'd you buy?

PP: Tell me, too. I love a secret.

GH: Just buying and selling.

PP: Based on what information?

CF: I'll handle this. Based on... Based on.... You handle this.

GH: Instinct.

CF: Instinct.

PP: Instinct. That's almost funny. Cancel those trades.

CF: Who me?

PP: Yeah, you. If you wanna keep your job.

GH: Go ahead. Do as the man says.

PP: And speaking of future employment, Hobson, perhaps its time we discussed yours.

GH: And that is?

PP: Not rosy. I need sharks. Sharks make profits. Sharks succeed. You don't. Am I making myself understood?

CF: Ah, Mr Pritchard, I'm afraid there's some bad news. Those trades went through.

PP: How much did we lose?

CF: Nothing, actually. They, they all went up... six and a quarter, five and an eighth, and, ah, {in unison}eight and a quarter.

GH: Eight and a quarter.

PP: Well. Well done. How big were we in?

GH: One share each.

PP: What'd you say?

GH: You heard me. One share each.

PP: Assure me you're joking.

[ Gary responds to Pritchard's threat:

GH: No joke.

PP: Look, I don't need this. I'll have your job, buddy.

GH: Well, you got it. Keep it in a safe place.

PP: You're quitting?

GH: I guess I just don't like wearing a tie.

% {Gary leaves}

% {Scene: Reception desk}

GH: Marissa, you busy this afternoon?

MC: Booked solid. What you got in mind?

GH: How 'bout lunch. On me.

MC: Where?

GH: Sky's the limit.

% {Scene: Bettin parlour. Announcer announcing things...}

Annce: Welcome to off-track betting. Please place your bets...

MC: Hey, Charlie. Got some luck for me today?

C: Ah, no chance. The usual?

MC: Yeah. Two dollars on the number four horse.

C: It's your money.

MC: Gary? Lunch.

% {Scene: Gary and Marissa at table}

GH: How's the food?

MC: Terrible.

GH: You come here everyday, huh?

MC: Yep. One bet, two bucks. Take a shot at a dream.

% {Gary checks the race results in the paper}

Annce: ....and at the wire, its the number three horse. Horses' Shadow by a nose...

MC: And then its back to the grind. Easy come, easy go.

Annce: Ladies and Gentlemen. One minute to post time in the second race. Please place your bets...

GH: Order some food. I'll be right back.

MC: Ah, oh...

% {Gary places bet for next race}

GH: Biscuit in the second

C: It's a long shot.

GH: Maybe.

% {Gary watches race with other betters}

Annce: ...its Biscuit by three lengths....

GH: Incredible

% {Gary sits back down at table with Marissa and a fistful of money}

MC: Welcome back. So, you like your food lukewarm or cold?

Annce: ....place your bets...the horses are now approaching the gate....

GH: I'll be right back.

MC: Oh, wait. Nice talkin' to ya.

% {Gary places another bet}

GH: Twenty-six on Applecart.

C: Your funeral.

% {Gary watches race with other betters}

Annce: Its Applecart coming from nowhere. Applecart pulling away, and its Applecart at the wire...

GH: Yes!

% {disappointed moans from all the other betters}

C: There you go. There's a lot of George Washingtons in there.

GH: Let it ride.

[ Gary looks around to see if anyone is eavesdropping. The other betters pretend not to listen... ]

C: Are you nuts? On who?

% {Gary looks around to see if anyone is eavesdropping. The other betters pretend not to listen as Gary whispers his bet}

GH: Sikorsky to win

% {Gary gets his ticket and leaves. The other betters start clamoring to bet on Sikorsky, too. Meanwhile, Marissa is impatiently waiting at the table, while Gary is off watching the race again.}

Annce: And they're off...

GH: Come on Sikorsky! Come on baby!

MC: Gary, what are you doing?

GH: Come on baby!

MC: This is where you've been?

GH: Uh-huh.

MC: How much did you spend? A dollar?

GH: Ha, ha! Come on baby!

Annce: ...at the turn its Zucker's Notion and Sikorsky neck and neck....

GH: Come on Sikorsky, come to papa! Come on baby!

Annce: ...its Sikorsky and Zucker's Notion, nose to nose, and at the wire, its....Zucker's Notion!

GH: Yes! {then is perplexed}

Annce: ...Zucker's Notion by a nose, Sikorsky, and Siamese Dream...

% {TV screen shows the race results and odds: "Sportsman's Park, Race 9, Zucker's Notion 5-1, Sikorsky 16-1, Siamese Dream 9-1}

GH: No, no. That's impossible. No. No. No, that's impossible.

Annce: ...Your attention please. Ladies and Gentlemen. Hold your tickets....Zucker's Notion has been disqualified. The winner is Sikorsky...

GH: Ha, ha!

% {TV screen shows the updated race results: Zucker's Notion is deleted and Candid Dream 11-1 is added. The other betters scramble to pick up their tickets.}

% {Scene: El platform}

MC: So, you wanna tell me how you did it?

GH: I already told ya. Luck.

MC: You wanna tell me why you did it?

GH: I thought it'd be fun.

MC: Oh, I see, fun. Well, this is my train. Thanks for the afternoon. It was, um...different. Take care of yourself.

% {Marissa gets on train}

GH: Marissa.

MC: Yeah.

GH: I want you to take the winnings from today.

% {Gary puts the winnings into Marissa's hands}

MC: I can't take this, Gary. This is yours.

GH: Now you can get the dog you've been waiting for.

MC: Gary, wait! Gary!

% {Door closes on train and train leaves}

% {Scene: Gary and Chuck at bar}

CF: No. No. No, no, no. I refuse to accept this.

GH: Look, take it easy, will ya?

CF: Alright, Gary, look. Just run this by me again, ok? You took the paper...

GH: Two beers.

CF: ...You went to a betting parlour. You won money, and then you gave it away.

GH: (in unison) Yeah, I gave it away.

CF: Why?

GH: She needed a dog.

CF: A dog? Why not ten dogs? Why not a whole kennel?

GH: Well, I don't know. It seemed like one dog was enough.

CF: Gar, this thing is not some kinda toy, ok? Its a very powerful tool.

GH: A tool?

CF: Yes. For getting very rich.

GH: No, no, no. No.

CF: This is opportunity with a capital "O." You can't just let it whither on the vine. It goes against nature.

GH: Oh, who's nature?

CF: Mine!

% {Scene: Gary and Chuck walking down sidewalk. Temp/Time sign displays 55 at 10:49 pm}

GH: Yeah, but it *doesn't* come to you. It only comes to me.

CF: You don't know that for sure now, do you?

GH: Meaning?

[ Chuck suggests that maybe the paper comes to other people, too, such as the gentleman (the

CF: Meaning, maybe it comes to him.

% {Chuck is gesturing to a man about to walk past them.}

CF: {to man} How are you?

UY: Up yours.

CF: Or maybe it comes to people all over the world, they just don't talk about it.

GH: Well, what do they do with it, then?

CH: What *any* normal person would. They make money. Lots of it. And they spend it on clothes and yachts, and presidential campaigns. Oh, my God, Gary. Look, just give it a try, alright? Take it from me, we got nothing to lose. Look, no one gets hurt. No one even knows. Do it for me. What have you got to lose?

GH: Chuck.

% {Gary points out a crowd and an ambulance ahead. Looks like an accident scene.}

GH: Its the newsstand. Sherman.

% {Gary cuts through the crowd}

GH: Excuse me.

% {Gary tries to go through police barricade}

CN: Woah, woah, woah. Move back.

GH: What happened? Hey, what happened?

CN: You wanna know? Read tomorrow's paper.

% {Gary pulls out the paper (still dated Wednesday, November 13) and flips through it. He sees story and photo "Local News Dealer Accident Victim" and the rain starts to fall on the paper}

GH: I missed it. I missed it.

% {Superior Ambulance #5219 drives away with Sherman on board. Cut to commercial...}


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