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The Philanthropist

Episode 1.01 : Pilot

The Philanthropist Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

June 24, 2009

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Action

Show Period

2009 - 2009

Production Company

Universal Media Studios, Levinson/Fontana Company

Cast and Crew


Director

Tom Fontana

Screenwriter

Peter Horton

Main Cast

Synopsis


Billionaire business man Teddy Rist speeds along on a motorcycle through the jungle of Nigeria, carrying a box of vaccines. All of a sudden he starts getting shot at and wipes out. Flash forward and Teddy is telling the story to an attractive bartender in a dusty bar.

Flash back to Nigeria, Teddy is being evacuated from his flooding hotel room but as he tries to arrange a flight out, he spots a beggar boy being ignored by the police ,and gives the boy his place on the rescue raft. When the boat capsizes, Teddy uncharacteristically jumps in the flood waters to save the boy. As Teddy holds the boy above water and unsuccessfully tries to learn the boy's name, he discovers a compassionate side of himself he did not know existed.

Back at the bar, Teddy offers the bartender $1000 if she will keep listening to his story. Teddy tells her how he is co-CEO of Maidstone Rist Inc., but she's not buying it. Back in the story, Teddy is convincing his partner Philip Maidstone that he needs to get back to Nigeria to fix the deal. His co-worker and Philip's wife, Olivia, notices that something has changed in him since his trip.

Talking to his bodyguard, Dax, Teddy drives through New York to visit his ex-wife Julia, after ignoring many of her calls. She is re-painting their dead son's room and boxing his things up for charity. Teddy is furious; though it has been over a year, he cannot move on. Julia hands him a box of Bobby's old toys, among which is a spinning top.

Teddy heads to a TV interview but wants to know if Olivia has sent a care package over to the Nigerian village where the boy he saved, Kajuru, lives. She tells him she will take care of it and urges him to pay attention to the interview. Teddy shocks everyone when he tells the interviewer he has doubled his company's charitable contributions. As the interview goes on, he has flashbacks of his son and the boy he saved. He is overcome with emotion and ends the interview to go to Nigeria. Philips urges him to stay in the U.S., but Teddy leaves to deliver the care package by himself.

Back in Nigeria, his goal is to bring medical supplies to the ravaged country. With him is his head of special projects, AJ, a definite fish out of water in Nigeria. Suddenly, Teddy jumps out of the car into the busy street; Dax follows him. Teddy follows the sounds to a celebration and joins in with the locals.

Teddy takes in the festival. At the Nigerian Ministry of Health, Teddy's offers of help are refused. Undeterred, he is put in contact with a doctor who can help him deliver supplies. Dr. Barlow is wary of him but tells him she can't get a box of vaccines out of the airport because of crooked security. The village that needs it, Najma, is near the Kajuru. The doctor calls Teddy out on his less-than-altruistic purpose; she is not interested if he is not serious.

Dr. Barlow leaves, but Teddy catches up to her and she reveals that Kajuru, and most likely the boy Teddy saved, were washed away in the floods. Teddy becomes very serious and decides he will get the vaccines from the airport for Dr. Barlow. At the airport, Teddy bribes an official but is detained by crooked police at gunpoint.

Back in New York, Philip calls the White House to try and get Teddy released from prison. Dr. Barlow wants to give up, but Teddy promises her that he will deliver the vaccines to Najma by the next day. He sets up a meeting with a drug dealer in hopes that the dealer will have connections he can use to get the vaccines. The drug dealer, eager to do business with Teddy, agrees to help him in return for a favor later down the road.

Teddy gets the vaccines from the airport but can't find a way to Najma, as it can only be reached car and there are no rentals. Dax tells Teddy they must move the jet or they will be towed, so Teddy splits the group up. AJ and Dax take care of the jet and work on a backup plan that will take a couple of days. Teddy, wanting to keep his promise to the doctor, wants to deliver the medicine that day. He runs into the drug dealer again and he hooks Teddy up with a ride in a chopper that can make it to Najma. Teddy pays him this time.

Almost to their destination, the chopper is taken down by a joint operation between the U.S. DEA and the Nigerian government. The DEA agent beats Teddy before they realize who he is and what he is carrying. It turns out the chopper is carrying illegal drugs, but a sympathetic DEA agent lets him go. Teddy is alone in the middle of the Nigerian jungle with a box of vaccines, 25 kilometers away from Najma, with only his GPS phone.

Teddy comes upon a shack in the jungle and is about to steal a motorcycle when the homeowner pulls out a shotgun. Trying to overcome the language barrier, Teddy trades his shoes and phone for the motorcycle. During the trade Philip calls; Teddy has missed an important meeting back home.

Back to the opening sequence, Teddy wipes out on the motorcycle as Nigerian rebels shoot at him. He abandons the bike and runs deep into the jungle, barefoot and bleeding from a head wound. Teddy continues on his trek without a real sense of direction and discovers how dangerous the jungle can be -- filled with thorns and no water. Bleeding, Teddy sits by a tree, but is bitten by a snake.

Delirious, Teddy tries to continue but has a hallucination of his dead son, Bobby. Bobby leads Teddy out of the jungle, where he stumbles into the village of Najma. As Teddy falls to the ground, the villagers find him. He wakes to Dr. Barlow, who has nursed him back to health. She tells him that the vaccines were a success and they are saving the people of all the nearby villages.

Back to the bar, the bartender still does not believe Teddy. Philip walks into the bar just as the bartender rips up the check. Teddy promises to leave the philanthropy to Olivia, but it is a promise he knows he won't keep, as he has found a calling. Back in Nigeria, Teddy sees that the boy he saved from the floodwaters has survived. The boy runs up to Teddy and finally tells him his name: Oma. Teddy gives the boy his son's spinning top.

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PREMIERE PHOTO

Ben Silverman
NBC's "The Philanthropist" New York City Premiere - Arrivals
Jun 23, 2009
Ben Silverman
NBC's "The Philanthropist" New York City Premiere - Arrivals
Jun 23, 2009