Read an oral history of the failed 1989 Coming to America pilot
Following the massive success of Eddie Murphy's 1988 film Coming to America, CBS ordered a spinoff pilot from Murphy's production company in 1989. "The plot: Akeem, now the king, sends his unruly little brother Tariq to New York City to attend Queens College," writes Bonsu Thompson. "Tariq was played by an uber-talented new firecracker on the L.A. stand-up scene named Tommy Davidson. Paul Bates reprised his movie character Oha ('she’s a queeeeen to beee'), now Tariq’s personal aide; John Hancock also appears (as their landlord and eventual boss), as did a pre-House Party A.J. Johnson. It was Davidson, though, who seemed destined for 1990s superstardom." CBS didn't pick up the pilot, but it ended up airing as part of CBS Summer Playhouse.