Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Beanes of Boston - The Lost Pilot

It seemed like Garry Marshall could do no wrong in the 1970's. Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Mork & Mindy and Laverne & Shirley were all huge hits that made Mr. Marshall a super-producer. It's obvious why any network would get on board with any project he brought to them.

So when Garry decided to bring the BBC's classic sitcom Are You Being Served? to the United States, it was a no-brainer for CBS to order a pilot. He quickly cast the new show-

Lorna Patterson, best known as the singing stewardess in Airplane, played Miss Brahms. Larry Bishop was Mr. Lucas. Laugh-In's Alan Sues would play Mr. Humphries. When SAG wouldn't allow Frank Thornton to reprise his role as Captain Peacock, John Hillerman from Magnum, P.I. stepped in. Rounding out the cast was Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Slocombe.

Rather than work at Grace Brothers, the U.S. crew worked at the "Beanes of Boston" department store owned by Frank Beane, played by Tom Poston. After viewing the pilot, CBS did a rare thing for a Garry Marshall production- it rejected it. The project died out and its pilot episode was "burned off" by CBS in the summer of 1979 back when the networks used to air their unsold pilots in the summer months.

Since no pictures or footage of Beanes are publicly available, here's a vintage picture of our favorite shop staff, all of whom are attending the Grace Brothers in the sky.