As the new TV season rolls out, let’s take a look back at a few series that never actually made it on the air. Not that there aren’t plenty such series every single year, but sometimes you look back and wonder, “How could a show with all of these talented people not get on the schedule?” Not that we have an answer to that question, you understand, but at least we can all be mystified and annoyed together.
Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Fred Armisen, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn, Nick Swardson
What you missed out on: After Bob Odenkirk and David Cross decided to put a bullet in their HBO sketch comedy series, “Mr. Show” (that’s right, it was their decision, not the network’s), the guys attempted to go their separate ways, with Odenkirk setting up shop at Fox with a pilot for a new sketch comedy series. If you think the above names are impressive, consider that several other “Mr. Show” alumni were in tow as well, including Jerry Minor, Jay Johnston, and Jill Talley, with Patton Oswalt also participating in some capacity or other. And, yes, if you’re wondering, Cross made an appearance in the pilot, too. So what happened? Apparently, Fox basically flipped a coin to decide which new sketch comedy series they’d add to their lineup, and “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” won the toss. Oh, what might’ve been…
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Poehler, Kevin Hart, and Judge Reinhold as himself
What you missed out on: Judd Apatow has never been ashamed to admit that the only reason that this pilot ever came into existence is that Fox refused to let him cast Jason Segel as his lead in the short-lived but highly-regarded “Undeclared,” but you can’t say he didn’t do his best to surround Segel with top-notch talent. Segel, Amy Poehler, and Kevin Hart played roommates, with Segel a struggling actor, Hart a struggling actor/comedian, and Poehler serving as Judge Reinhold’s personal assistant. There’s a more detailed look at the pilot here, but the long and the short of it is that, although Apatow admits that he really didn’t know if there was a decent series to be had in “North Hollywood,” he thinks the pilot’s pretty decent, but its tone didn’t match the sitcoms filling ABC’s lineup at the time, so they took a pass on it.
Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, Sarah Silverman, Todd Barry, Mitch Hedberg
What you missed out on: Created by Loren Bouchard, best known to animation fans as one of the creative forces behind “Home Movies,” “Saddle Rash” seemed to have all the elements necessary for a successful Adult Swim series, so why didn’t it make it beyond the pilot stage? Was it that westerns weren’t exactly in vogue at the time? Was there some sort of stigma attached to the project because they brought in country artists to continued voice work (including Waylon Jennings as a very special guest in the pilot)? Whatever the case, the pilot got aired – no doubt mostly because Adult Swim has a tendency to air just about every pilot it orders, whether it actually ends up going to series or not – but that was the end of the trail for the series.
Tags: Abigail Spencer, Adam Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Amy Poehler, Area 57, Blythe Danner, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn, Brittany Robertson, Bruce McGill, Busy Phillips, Carrie-Anne Moss, Catherine O'Hara, Christine Baranski, Dave Foley, David Cross, David Hyde Pierce, David Tennant, DJ Qualls, Ed O'Neil, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Fred Armisen, Gary Cole, Geoff Stults, Good Behavior, H. Jon Benjamin, Heather Locklear, Hollywood Division, Illeana Douglas, In the Game, Jane Curtin, Jane Lynch, Jason Segel, Jeffrey Tambor, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jerry O'Connell, Jonathan Groff, Joseph Fiennes, Judd Apatow, Judge Reinhold, Kevin Hart, Leighton Meester, Mae Whitman, Marilu Henner, Matthew Lillar, Mitch Hedberg, Molly Parker, Molly Shannon, Moon Bloodgood, Nate Corrdry, Nathan Fillion, Next, Nick Swardson, North Hollywood, Patton Oswalt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Reubens, Peri Gilpin, Peter Dinklage, Pretty/Handsome, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, Robert Wagner, Rockmond Dunbar, Saddle Rash, Sara Gilbert, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sarah Silverman, Testing Bob, The Amazing Screw-On Head, The Light from the TV Shows, The Wonderful Maladys, Tina Majorino, Todd Barry, Treat Williams, Will Harris, Women of a Certain Age, Zach Galifianakis