When Melhman went out into the “real world” beyond Seinfeld’s office walls, he found that everyone wanted in television wanted the “next Seinfeld”, but they didn’t want to take the risks necessary to make such a thing. They wanted Seinfeld money, but they seemed to resent Seinfeld itself for breaking the rules of television. He would go in to pitch ideas to executives and hear, over and over, “That character’s not very likeable.” He’d thought Seinfeld had done away with likeability.
An anecdote by Peter Melhman as written by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong in her book Seinfeldia (2015). The book tells of the fascinating history of how a sitcom frequently voted the best ever came to be made, its impact on popular culture and how it shook up the rules of comedy. I’ve written quite a few posts on the show including an outline of the show and some of its most memorable quotes by its eponymous protagonist, Jerry Seinfeld.