Image by bill barber (very sporadic) via Flickr
After we got back, I looked up Television Preview and found out they have been doing this for years all over the country. If anyone wants to know what it's like, these two blog posts come pretty close to describing our experience, including the exact same ancient pilots:
Beware the Free TV Preview
soulmates and scams
We did have a few things happen differently: For instance, the emcee actually lied to us about the Soulmates pilot, saying it was set in 1999 but filmed recently, and the actual TV series would span a decade in the early episodes, being set in 2009 by the fourth episode (audiences must have noticed the giant cell phones in use in the 1997-filmed pilot)! Also, we got to watch a Hundai ad twice and answer very specific questions about it that seemed less like market research and more like push polling.
You know, I wouldn't mind so much about the bait-and-switch (asked to come in and evaluate TV shows but really being asked about the ads) if the shows were more recent, or actually good. But pretending that someone in Hollywood cares about our opinions about ten-year-old pilots is insulting.