There are plenty of similarities between the pilots especially based on the type of protagonist and show type.
Mike Ross and Barry Allen capture the enthusiasm and drive of a young person trying to make their way in the world with optimism and hope for a bright and happy future.
Tony, Walt and Lester give us the depressing look on the other end of the spectrum as they mellow in their mundane life waiting for something to happen instead of making something happen. Only after a medical incident and getting in with the wrong crowd do they gain a different perspective on life.
To deviate further, Walt and Lester are unhappy with their boring uneventful life, whereas Tony is unhappy with his life that is too eventful. As noted they are on opposite ends of the power scale. Lester and Walt can only dream of becoming like Tony, whereas Tony is tired of all the shit.
This gives you a small glimpse of what makes a procedural show starring a young person ready to take on the world.
Parent’s Relationship/ or Death: a personal motivation for their entire life goal.
Ability: Some sort of ability that sets them apart from the average person.
Team: A dynamic team to help them take on the world.
New Environment: They are invited to a new environment relative to their goals.
Mentor: A mentor who wants to see them succeed.
Test and Fail: They need to be tested and fail the test…
Inspiration and Success: Only to be inspired by a role model to carry on and succeed.
This gives you a small glimpse of what makes a Serial television show about a married person stuck in a boring life.
Married: They have a spouse and their marriage isn’t exciting anymore.
Boring Job: They have a boring job that brings no excitement.
Significant Event: An event occurs that makes them rethink their life.
Mindset Change: Along with this event, their mindset begins to change, in turn changing their actions and decisions.
Wrong Crowd: They find a partner or associate that influences them, usually in the wrong direction.
Pass Out: They have to pass out before the significant event. (Just Kidding, but it is interesting that it occurs in all three pilots.)
Near Death Experience: At some point they have a near death experience.
Biggest Deviation: The Flash
The Flash had removed an entire character from it’s original screenplay. Hartley was taken out and his lines were given to Harrison, Caitlyn and Cisco.
The flashbacks of his mother’s death were originally spread throughout the screenplay. In the pilot, it was just one scene near the beginning of the pilot.
Most Accurate: Fargo
Very few minor scenes and details were added or cut from the pilot.
Probably the only significant deviation is giving Gus a daughter instead of a son.