How Bad is Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer’s New Sitcom That ABC Won’t Air It After Paying For a Full Season

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ABC gave Untitled Alec Baldwin/Kelsey Grammer Project a straight-to-series order meaning that they’re contractually obligated to produce a full season of the show. Despite that and with Disney’s upfront presentation scheduled less than a month from now on May 18th, ABC passed on the series as is shopping it to other networks according to Variety.

Now, I’m not saying that this is highly unusual, it does happen that shows given straight-to-series or put pilot commitments get passed on by networks, but this show may have the best pedigree of any sitcom in the last 20 years.

Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer are both legends, having starred in 30 Rock and Cheers and Frasier, respectively. The project also stars Alec Mapa, Richard Kind and Gilmore Girls’ hot mom Lauren Graham. On top of that it’s created by Christopher Lloyd, who was a writer and executive producer for Frasier and Modern Family, having won more Emmys than any other producer between those two shows.

The plot of the show is that Baldwin, Grammer and Mapa were roommates as young men who had a falling out and now they’re reunited “for one more run at the lives they’ve always wanted.”

All of this makes me extremely curious on why ABC passed on this show that they’re on the hook to produce a full season of anyway. I can’t imagine it’s because it’s not funny enough, they ran Speechless for three seasons.

The only thing I can think of is that the show is edgy in a way ABC isn’t comfortable with and they’re afraid of complaints. Nothing is guaranteed to work and the show could genuinely be bad, but most sitcoms take a season to find their footing, and with the group they’ve assembled and money they’ve spent it seems like it would be worthwhile to give them the space to figure it out if that was the problem.

Now, if the show was going to be controversial and wanted to push the envelope, well, we’re at the peak of television sitcoms trying not to be controversial. We’ll probably know by how quickly it gets sold: if it takes a while or no one picks it up, it’s probably a bad show. But if it gets immediately snapped up by another network or a streaming service, ABC just got cold feet about the content.

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