Best. Show. Never.: The Greatest TV Series That Never Were

With so many genius ideas for shows pitched, how did we get 'The Leftovers'? Inside prime time's lost treasures

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Showtime Ongoing

Before his death, Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman was set to make his television-series debut. "Hoffman plays Thom Payne, a successful but self-loathing creative director at a New York ad agency," Showtime president David Nevins announced. He showed critics a trailer for the pilot, which co-starred Rhys Ifans and Kathryn Hahn, featured a Louis C.K. cameo and was directed by John Cameron Mitchell. "Happyish is about the fear," Nevins said, "in this world of 25-year-old CEOs and 27-year-old billionaires – of becoming culturally irrelevant at a surprisingly young age." In the footage, Hoffman's Payne is a Viagra-and-Prozac-popping 42-year-old who rants against social media, hallucinates a conversation with a Keebler elf and struggles to rebrand himself. In July, Nevins said, "I'm now sitting on five scripts that are brilliant. If I can cast it the right way, I think it's something I'll make." Without Hoffman, whom Nevins pursued for several years, the show is in limbo.

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