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As you learned from Samuel L. Jackson’s monologue in Pulp Fiction, a pilot is a test episode of a prospective TV series shown to network executives. If those execs like the pilot, it becomes a series. If not, all the participants move on to other things—often better things. Such is the case for the actors on this list, who made these pilots early in their careers before they did work that lasted much longer.

1. Keri Russell in Clerks.

Somehow not as big a career mistake as cutting her hair.
Somehow not as big a career mistake as cutting her hair.