What's odd is that originally Fox shite canned the pilot. The first episode that aired was the train robbery episode.
The A.V. Club cited several actions by the Fox network that contributed to the show's failure, most notably airing the episodes out of sequence, making the plot more difficult to follow. For instance, the double episode "Serenity" was intended as the premiere, and therefore contained most of the character introductions and back-story. However, Fox decided that "Serenity" was unsuitable to open the series, and "The Train Job" was specifically created to act as a new pilot.In addition, Firefly was promoted as an action-comedy rather than the more serious character study it was intended to be, and the showbiz trade paper Variety noted Fox's decision to occasionally preempt the show for sporting events.
here is the order they aired. Notice the long breaks you sometimes got between episodes. How they thought a new show that followed a serialized format with a mostly unknown cast could sustain good ratings airing it this way is beyond me.
Episode 02 - September 9, 2002
Episode 03 - September 27, 2002
Episode 06 - October 4, 2002
Episode 07 - October 18, 2002
Episode 08 - October 25, 2002
Episode 04 - November 1, 2002
Episode 05 - November 8, 2002
Episode 09 - November 15, 2002
Episode 10 - December 6, 2002
Episode 14 - December 13, 2002
Episode 01 - December 20, 2002
episodes 11, 12, and 13 went unaired until SciFi burned them off in 2003 in order July 21, 28, and August 4. LINK