Chevy Chase's time on Community helped revive the actor's career, and though he's likely loathe to admit it, it's this resurgence of popularity that will surely aide him in his next endeavor. But will his reputation for being difficult on set be a road block to long-term success?
After leaving Community last year during season 4, there had been rumors Chase would reprise the role of Clark Griswold for a new Vacation film starring Ed Helms as a grown-up Rusty Griswold, undoubtedly suffering though his own arduous family vacation. New Line has since placed that project on hold, and now it seems Chase is in discussion with ABC about a new comedy series for himself and Vacation co-star, Beverly D’Angelo.
Variety confirms the story as well as ABC's offer of a production commitment, which means a pilot is a sure bet once the details are hammered out. As of now no script, writer or studio are attached, but Aaron Kaplan (Terra Nova) is on board as a producer of the single-camera comedy.
Chase and D’Angelo will star as a couple in their sixties looking forward to enjoying the golden years together, but instead get stuck raising their grandchildren. Deadline reports that producer Kaplan is a big fan of the Vacation films, which is why he approached D'Angelo, who then reached out to Chase. The two actors last appeared as Clark and Ellen Griswold in the short film, Hotel Hell Vacation, which first premiered as a series of Super Bowl ads for Home Away, Inc. in 2010.
While Chase and D'Angelo aren't reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold, it's obvious this new series is banking on the nostalgia of the Vacation films for its allure. It will almost certainly be a series about The Griswolds as grandparents (in all but name).
It will also be a test to see whether Chase still has the comedic chops to carry a series without his Community safety net. His role as Pierce Hawthorne was a significant part of the show, but it was by no means a linchpin for its success (evident by the series' decision to carry on without him).
Community is going forward without Chase, time will tell if he can do the same without them.
Chase's new ABC comedy is expected in the 2015-2016 development season. We'll be sure keep you updated as more details emerge.