Day 27 - Best pilot episode
Well now... this is a hard one. My first instinct is to say the pilot ep of Earth 2, but that's mostly because of the fabulous end shot of Tim Curry on a hillside in his awesome getup with that great long hair, smiling with sly malice, watching our intrepid heroes cross below him. It wouldn't matter what else happened in that premiere, that's what I remember most after... how many years now since I last saw it? And because it's Tim Curry, there's so much evil promise in that simple ending that I was completely hooked. Add in Clancy Brown as one of the regulars, and this show's premiere did completely hook me when it aired.
For best "new" show, I'm going to go with Lost. I may not have watched beyond the first season, but they did have a doozy of a premiere episode. It jumped in in the middle, neatly introduced people and the situation, wasn't loaded with a ton of boring exposition to set up the rest of the eps. It made great promises, and that's what I want out of a premiere.
For best older show, Route 66 hooked me with it's first ep and made me an instant fan. I expected some light and got the exact opposite. Instead there's a nasty little town with secrets they're willing to kill to protect. I got to see the two leads in action right off the bat, with no wasted time or energy.
(My favorite pilot, as opposed to best, would be the first episode of Highlander, because of how neatly it used Connor to transition things over to Duncan. "Same clan, different vintage." It also featured a very fun sword fight between the two that I will never tire of watching, and some great snappy dialog. The bad guy, unfortunately, was beyond cheesy, and that prevents this from reaching a "best" list.)