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Margot Robbie and David Harbour, ‘Pan Am’ (ABC, 2011-12)

Before she was hangin’ on the big screen with Leo, the Joker, and Winnie the Pooh, actress and producer Robbie was runaway bride turned stewardess on the 1960s-set show about Pan Am employees. The series was nearly picked up by Amazon after ABC canceled it in Season 1, but alas, the deal didn’t — wait for it — fly. Bad news for Pan Am, good news for Stranger Things fans, as Harbour was free when it came time to try to maintain order in Hawkins, Ind., as Stranger Things’ Chief Jim Hopper, after his Pan Am British MI-6 agent Roger Anderson was ultimately revealed to be a secret KGB spy. (Photo: ABC via Getty Images/Walleye Productions/Getty Images)

Winners from losers: Failed TV shows that produced big stars

Kimberly Potts
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

The biggest TV flops can have a silver lining, and for this collection of failed tube efforts, it’s that they all featured major future stars in their casts. Yep, even a show that lasted a mere two episodes gave audiences their first chance to get to know Hollywood’s greatest female superhero, and future Oscar winner George Clooney was puttin’ a one-season comedy spin on the emergency room long before his career got serious with ER. Here, a roundup of 10 TV shows that were ratings failures but superstar-forecasting hits.