In a postmortem interview with TVLine’s Michael Ausiello, Happy Endings creator David Caspe and executive producer Jonathan Groff revealed that their low-rated, brilliant sitcom was THIS CLOSE to getting picked up by USA (the space between my thumb and pointer finger is as tiny as Elisha Cuthbert). Caspe said, “It was as close as it could come without happening,” while Groff added, “I think USA, to their credit, really wants to be in the business of making original programming. It sounded like it would have been hard for them to do everything they wanted to do in terms of development.” The unforgiving monster known as Covert Affairs strikes again.
Anyway, the “summer bummed” producers — who aren’t bitter about how things ended; they’re ecstatic it lasted for 57 episodes — also revealed what season four might have looked like had the show not received its ironic fate.
First, Groff said:
I really would like to have seen where Penny ends up and what happens with Dave and Alex. Do they ever get back together? They seem like they’re right for each other. And to see Elisha Cuthbert, who is so funny and was sort of undiscovered to us before as a really talented comedienne, to get to see [Alex] out dating really for the first time with someone other than Dave would have been a lot of fun. Brad and Jane talking about starting a family or new jobs, things like that. I’m bummed about not getting to tell those stories more.
You threw out some possible Season 4 storylines. How much thought did you guys really give to Season 4 and beyond? For example, were you planning to ever go there with Dave and Penny?
Caspe: Maybe. We knew we couldn’t do Dave and Penny until we got Dave and Alex sorted out. At the end of Season 3, they got the break-up that they really needed to have, which is one with an even playing field and nobody having left anyone at the altar. We wanted to have them break up in an amicable way so we could go back to telling Dave’s dating stories in a way that was more serious, or Alex dating and what that would mean for the group in a way that was more even-handed. Would Penny have been part of that? Maybe. I think we would have needed to regroup because Penny and Alex are so close and that relationship is so important and they’ve known each other their whole lives. [It’s similar to] the way it was tricky for Barney and Robin to hook up on How I Met Your Mother. It didn’t come without some degree of difficulty for Ted and Barney’s relationship. We would have had to handle that. And maybe we would have, I’m not sure.
We’ll just have to imagine Brad and Jane’s beautiful black-and-white baby in this pile of money.