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TV Series > The Real Ghostbusters
The Real Ghostbusters

The text description on the Video tab and some of the history text was written up by James Eatock. A more complete history of the promo pilot, along with a different description of it, can be found in this Cereal:Geek article that he wrote. The ABC promo was given to me by Lanny White, and the Blockbuster Video promo was given to me by Doreen Mulman. All files have been digitalized by me, Paul Rudoff, except for the Syndication promo which was uploaded by an unknown YouTube user. A larger, better copy of the ABC promo can be found on the Spook Central Facebook page.

One of the most interesting aspects of The Real Ghostbusters has always been the three-minute and forty-nine seconds promo pilot used to sell the series to ABC. Back in late 1985 Richard Raynis informed Kevin Altieri that DiC were going to pitch a show based on the movie Ghostbusters to the ABC network. Being a fan of the movie Kevin leapt at the chance to work on it. Due to the incredibly quick turnaround there was no planned structure to the promo; Kevin and Eddie Fitzgerald literally drew scene after scene as the ideas came to them. The pair had no models to work with and based all of their designs on the movie, which is why in the storyboards the characters look like their movie counterparts, with Winston even sporting a mustache!

Besides storyboarding the promo pilot with Eddie Fitzgerald, Kevin Altieri also directed it. It was completed on December 16, 1985, and not only did DiC manage to successfully sell the show to ABC, but it also became one of the longest running eighties cartoons with a staggering six years of production, including sixty-five syndicated episodes.

The reason the full promo pilot even exists on The Real Ghostbusters: Complete Collection DVD box set is because, after all these years, Kevin still had it in pristine condition on the very video tape he had originally transferred it to. James Eatock, who worked on the DVD set, took photos of the videocassette itself, along with the video tag that preceeded the promo pilot on the tape, which was left off of the DVD.

Footage from the promo pilot was used in: an ABC promo to announce the premiere of the series in the Fall of 1986 (amonst the many times it aired was on August 17, 1986 during the The Disney Sunday Movie), a Blockbuster Video promo to announce the original Magic Window home video VHS release of the series in 1987, a Syndication promo to announce the premiere of the series in syndication in the Fall of 1987, and in the opening credits of "The Halloween Door" primetime special in 1989. The first 54 seconds of the promo was used in its entirety in the Syndication promo and in the Blockbuster Video promo, but with different narration. Once the Ghostbusters start sliding down the firepole in silhouette, that's when the Blockbuster Video promo cuts to other footage, while the Syndication promo continues the shot up to the point where the Ecto-1 comes racing out of the firehouse, at which point it stills on the logo on the side of the car.

If you enjoy the low-quality video of the complete pilot seen below, buy the 25-disc complete series DVD set from Amazon in order to obtain a high-quality copy. The promo pilot, along with storyboards of it and a visual commentary track with director Kevin Altieri and artist Dan Riba, can be found on the bonus disc that's only included in the series box set.

The Complete Pilot
ABC Promo
Blockbuster Video Promo
Syndication Promo

A woman drops her groceries, a painter nearly falls off a scoffold, and people run and scream in fright. Dissolve to the No Ghost ghost walking down the street ala John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. He turns and gets trapped in the red circle.

The alarm goes off at the firehouse and the Ghostbusters get out of bed to answer the call. They don their equipment, slide down the pole, and zoom off in Ecto-1.

Ecto-1 races down the streets with Winston driving, Egon looking at his PKE meter, Peter reading a magazine and Ray on top. The camera swoops under Ecto-1 and into the van driven by no one with Slimer eating marshmallows in the back. Ray fires his gun (falling off Ecto-1 with Peter grabbing him) and his blast destroys the van. The explosion of marshmallow covers the windshield. When Winston and Egon wipe the windshield Slimer is driving Ecto-1!

Slimer drives them up the wires of a bridge and they soar into the air, crashing into a woman's apartment surrounded by ghosts. The car skids throwing Egon and Winston clear, but into the path of Slimer and his ghost buddies...

Meanwhile Peter and Ray chase a small ghost bothering a guy in a phone booth. As they give chase a monster pops out of the sewer, then an even bigger monster lands behind that one cracking the floor and sending the pair into the subway. They are about to be a hit by a train when the Marshmallow Man "saves" them. Just as he holds them up a skeleton in a plane takes them and they swoop through the air. They are left hanging on a drainpipe...

Meanwhile Egon and Winston are running through the corridors of the hotel chased by the ghosts. They manage to run out through the front door and crash into Peter and Ray who've fallen off the drainpipe onto the street below. They all get up and see Stay Puft and the others looming over them. Egon tosses out a trap and then they draw their weapons and fire (like in the intro). Slimer zooms past Stay Puft, but they catch him and all the ghosts are captured. but not before Slimer reaches his hand out of the trap to grab his fallen hot dog. Victory pose!

James Eatock - Behind The Scenes

Be sure to check out the entire collection of DVD Behind The Scenes photos.

The Pilot