ESPN to Air Jalen Rose's Passed-Over ABC Pilot

The network is giving 'Jalen vs. Everybody' a prime sampling window after its sister network opted not to pick it up.
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Jalen Rose's comedy pilot isn't completely dead, after all. Though a future for the project (passed over at ABC) is still unlikely, its one produced episode will air on ESPN.

The Jalen vs. Everybody pilot will Tuesday evening, at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT after an abbreviated episode of First Take. Rose announced the news on a Monday episode of First Take.

It's a rare move for ESPN, or any network, to air a passed-over pilot — especially so soon after the broadcast networks announced their orders for the new fall season. It hasn't even been a month since ABC opted not to order the 20th Century Fox TV and ABC Studios co-production for the 2016-17 season.

Executive produced by Fresh Off the Boat trio Nahnatchka Khan, Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan, Jalen vs. Everybody was designed as a Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque single-camera vehicle built around a fictional version of Rose — albeit one who, like him, works at ESPN. (ABC ultimately opted to order The Mayor, Splitting Up Together, Alex, Inc. and a revival of Roseanne to series instead.) ESPN boss John Skipper is said to have been a fan of the pilot and agreed to give Rose a platform for the project.

It's not immediately clear what, if any, endgame there is for Jalen vs. Everybody after the special screening, but the extra exposure certainly couldn't hurt.