If you’ve watched enough television then you’ve probably come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a rejected television sitcom. With programmes as truly, cringingly, stereotypically awful as The War At Home and genuinely, cry-inside, unfunny as The I.T. Crowd you could be forgiven for thinking that TV producers look only for the words "situation" and "comedy" and greenlight a series without checking for those all-important warning signs such as "written by a racist", "based on a Chekov play", or "starring Tom Arnold".
However, in the annals of TV history there actually have been some sitcoms rejected by networks across the world. For the first time, a selection:
Synopsis: Father Jack, formerly of Father Ted, becomes Pope. With hilarious consequences.
Reason For Rejection: There is no latin word for "feck".
Chachi Loves Richie
Synopsis: A modern take on the Happy Days spin-off penned by Russell T. Davies. With hilarious consequences.
Reason For Rejection: ABC’s testing indicated that viewers and Ron Howard were uncomfortable with every scene featuring penetrative anal sex.
Synopsis: The everyday tale of a Sudeten-German Catholic businessman in the days of The Final Solution and his struggle to invent a list-processing computer language for the Nazis. With hilarious consequences.
Reason For Rejection: There was a rival sitcom based on Goebbels and his love affair with Babbage’s Difference Engine already in production.
Married … With AIDS
Synopsis: Sal, Penny, Burt, and Kerry Grundy battle one another and HIV positive humour at the same time. With hilarious consequences.
Reason For Rejection: Threats from shoe salesmen – worried that their business would be affected by storylines such as "Sal’s Shoehorn Infects A Fat Woman" – forced the network to pull out.
That’s My Janitor!
Synopsis: A middle-aged, long-term unemployed man is finally employed as janitor at an all-girls school. With hilarious consequences.
Reason For Rejection: FOX imposed a limit of fourteen onanism references per episode but the writer would not negotiate down from three hundred and seventy two.
How I Raped Your Mother
Synopsis: A rape story in reverse, the story follows Todd telling his numerous offspring about the events that led to him serving life with no chance of parole. With hilarious consequences.
Reason For Rejection: Focus groups indicated they were not keen on the phrase "Your Mother".
Mind Your Language A.D. 2100
Synopsis: Updated version of the classic racist comedy set in a language school teaching English to damn foreigners. Now on the moon. With hilarious consequences.
Reason For Rejection: Nobody was sure what horribly offensive stereotype could be applied to Esperanto-speakers.
That ’40s Show
Synopsis: Erich von Feuermann and his five Hitler Youth friends enjoy life in the suburbs of Dresden during the war. With hilarious consequences.
Reason For Rejection: The liberal, Jewish conspiracy in Hollywood kidnapped and murdered anyone connected with the show’s production.