In the world of comedy these days, names don't get much bigger than Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. Both actors - who started up together working on the Judd Apatow-produced shows Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared - are not only two of the genre's regular leading men, but also are quite active behind the scenes with the pen. Nowadays, the idea of them teaming up with Jack Black to make a comedy series on HBO sounds like an instant hit - but that wasn't the case back in 2003, when the subscription channel actually rejected a project presented to them by the trio.
This interesting bit of trivia was recently brought up in a profile of Seth Rogen published by Rolling Stone. Looking at the period of the actor-cum-writer/director's career post-Undeclared, the piece notes that Rogen actually once teamed up with Segel to write a pilot a comedy pilot for HBO, but that the station ultimately decided to pass on the project. Unfortunately, the magazine article doesn't include any details about what the show would have been about - but some quick digging has revealed that it would have been a very music-centric program.
A March 2003 article from Variety that we found says that the Seth Rogen/Jason Segel-scripted and Jack Black-produced show would have been called Black Market Music, and would have been about "a pair of twentysomethings with different goals who end up running a Hollywood record shop." Rogen and Segel would have also starred in the series, and the hook was that each episode would see different artists or bands getting involved with storylines as well as performing. In an official statement, Jack Black was quoted saying,
“It’s like High Fidelity with a pinch of Taxi. Jason and Seth are the best writers I know. You will see me in the pilot episode making television history.”
Really knowing now how incredibly talented Seth Rogen and Jason Segel are, it is a true shame that this show never got made, as its premise is fantastic and it would have been awesome to see Rogen and Segel co-starring in their own series. At the same time, if Black Market Music had been made it's possible that the two stars could have seen the career trajectories completely change, and as a result we wouldn't have many of the amazing films that they are making these days. Fate can definitely be a tricky thing.
We probably won't be seeing Seth Rogen, Jason Segel or Jack Black heading to television on a permanent basis any time soon, but they still can be seen rather frequently up on the big screen. Rogen's The Interview is currently in theaters, while Segel will soon see the Sundance Premiere of The End of the Tour, in which he stars as famed author David Foster Wallace. Black, meanwhile, will next be seen in the live-action horror comedy Goosebumps, which arrives in theaters this April.