The Seinfeld Chronicles is the pilot episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld, which first aired on NBC on July 5,1989. The first of the 180 Seinfeld episodes, the pilot was written by show creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, and directed by Art Wolff. Though they had asked to put together a 90-minute TV special, Seinfeld. The storyline, and the characters, were inspired by real-life events. Though the NBC executives were unsure about the show, they, as Warren Littlefield would later state, all said, ah what the hell, lets try a pilot on this thing, the test audiences, however, reacted extremely negatively. Although NBC would still broadcast the episode to see how audiences and TV critics would react, the show, renamed Seinfeld, would go on to become one of the most successful sitcoms in television history. The series opens with Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza seated at Petes Luncheonette, Jerry tells George about a woman he met in Lansing, Michigan, Laura, who is coming to New York, and the two discuss whether or not she has romantic intentions. The next evening, Jerry tells his neighbor Kessler that he thinks he misunderstood the situation with Laura, however, he then receives a telephone call from Laura, who asks if she can stay overnight at his apartment. Though Jerry agrees, he is unsure whether or not her visit is intended to be romantic. George and Jerry continue to debate the issue, with Jerry determined to find the nature of her visit. While waiting at the airport for Laura to arrive, Jerry and George try to identify the possible signals Laura might give upon her arrival, however, when Laura arrives, her greeting is ambiguous. Upon arriving at Jerrys apartment Laura removes her shoes and some clothing to get comfortable, asks for wine. As Jerry removes his own shoes and begins to grow confident, when Laura gets off the phone she tells Jerry, Never get engaged. Seinfeld enlisted fellow comedian Larry David to help him develop it, the storyline, as well as most of the main characters, were inspired by the personal lives of its creators. Jerry was a version of Seinfeld, George a fictionalized version of Larry David. Though Seinfeld was initially concerned the wacky neighbor would be too much of a cliché, however, anticipating that the actual Kramer would exploit the benefits of having a TV character based on him, David hesitated to call the character Kramer. Thus, in the pilot, the name was Kessler. The name inconsistency would eventually be corrected in the season 9 episode The Betrayal in which Kramer explains that Kessler is the name on his apartment buzzer, David and Seinfeld re-wrote the script several times before submitting it to the network, dropping and adding various elements
Larry David co-wrote the episode
Michael Richards reportedly did a handstand during his audition.
NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff was concerned the show was "Too New York, too Jewish".