Spend enough time watching the ups and downs of TV pilot production, and you tend to get a pretty “So it goes” attitude to the projects that don’t actually make it. So many good casts have worked together under so many good writers and producers over the years, only to fail at the final gate, that a certain equanimity is a natural reaction. “There’ll be other shows,” you tell yourself. And it’s true, usually—unless the show in question is a pilot in which Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer are 60-plus-year-old roommates attempting to shove their collective egos into a single room, a proposition that makes our skins crawl damn near off our bodies even as the perverse-est parts of our souls long to see the two go at it.
Alas, then, this news from Variety, which reports that ABC has passed on the opportunity to step up its bloviation game, rejecting “Untitled Alec Baldwin/Kelsey Grammer Comedy Project,” and forcing it to be shopped elsewhere. And it’s not like the credentials weren’t on their side: The pilot—which also co-stars Alex Mapa—was directed by James Burrows himself, re-teaming him with his former Cheers and Frasier star for some of that “Will they/won’t they (literally eat the scenery)” chemistry. Per the logline, the multi-cam sitcom centered on three men (Baldwin, Grammer, Mapa), “who were roommates in their 20s until their warring egos drove them apart. Now, the trio is reuniting decades later for one more run at the lives they’ve always wanted.” Said lives presumably involving (in our imaginations, leastways), just so much yelling, sweating, and flaring of nostril.
Per Variety, the series was developed at 20th Television by Modern Family alums Chris Lloyd (also a long-time collaborator of Grammer’s) and Vali Chandrasekaran (who worked with Baldwin on 30 Rock). Given the assembled track records of all involved, ABC had been happy to hand out a straight-to-series order for the show…but then they apparently saw the pilot, and scrapped the deal. (God, do we want to see this pilot.) 20th Century is expected to continue to hunt around to find the show a home.