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by Matt McHugh

Script for a sitcom pilot.

In 2004, the cable channel Bravo had a contest for a reality show about pitching a sitcom. Entrants had to submit an original script for a pilot episode. Ten finalists were chosen; two were picked to produce 15-minute specs of their sitcom and pitch it to TV execs.

My entry was not chosen. Here it is:


"NEVER BETTER" is set in Desmond Hills, a Los Angeles-area retirement home for old movie actors. The principals are six residents (four male, two female) who were B-grade movie stars or bit players in the studio system of 30's, 40's, and 50's. They range in age from early seventies to mid eighties. Most of the action takes place in the home's dayroom where the characters sit around, watch TV, and grouse about all manner of things with sedentary nostalgia--commenting on and interacting with the flow people who pass through the dayroom. They are generally a grumpy lot and prone to bickering amongst themselves. They become most animated when discussing their career heydays or the foibles of famous, classic movie actors. While they are cranky and forgetful and largely oblivious of anything contemporary, they are often more astute observers of human nature than the younger people they interact with. The doctors are aloof; the nurses, self-involved; their children, neurotic aging yuppies; their grandchildren, robotic consumers of pop culture. Their curmudgeonly camaraderie is often challenged by events from the outside, yet always endures mainly due to their stubborn inertia. Think "Cheers" meets "The Sunshine Boys."


REX MASTERS - (@ 78) Tall, charming and vain. As an actor, he was the most successful of the group and a renowned Hollywood ladies' man in his day.

SCOTTY MALLOY - (@ 81) A career character actor, with a lingering hit of Irish brogue. Remains jealous of more successful actors.

BUDDY G. JACKSON - (@ 79) A black actor, harboring a lifetime of resentment at never getting to play anything other than a butler, chauffer, cook, valet, manservant, etc.

FLORA WOODWARD - (@ 81) A career chorus girl. Frequently drifts into oblivious spells of humming and dancing to herself. The most forgetful/ditzy of the group.

TONY MARCONI - (@ 74) A seasoned veteran of stage, screen, New York, L.A., drama, comedy, etc., who is constantly irked over the fact he never made it very big.

HESTER WHITE - (@ 86) Former child star of the late 20's, early 30's. Has worked very little since then. The most overtly bitter and caustic of the group.

DIRECTOR JONES - (@ 50) Director of Desmond Hills. Mostly pleasant, but aloof.

NURSE RACHEL - (@ 35) Attractive, seemingly ditzy, nurse at Desmond Hills.

DIRK WEAVER - (@ 30) Entertainment reporter working on a book.

GARRETT - (@ 12) Scotty Malloy's computer-addicted grandnephew.

MARIE - (@ 43) Rex Master's daughter.

JACQUELINE - (@ 19) Rex Master's granddaughter.



Never Better Sitcom Script  |  Script in HTML  |  Script in PDF (1.5 mb)

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