By Marc Snetiker
Updated January 17, 2016 at 06:53 PM EST
NBCU Photo Bank

Everyone’s rebooting old TV, so why can’t Judd Apatow?

A reporter was fishing for a tease about a revival of Freaks and Geeks — Apatow’s cherished 1999 teen comedy starring Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel — but Apatow revealed a different revivable past project he had in mind: a failed pilot called North Hollywood which he sold to ABC in 2001.

“They wanted to do edgy groundbreaking comedy. It was around the time Curb Your Enthusiasm was very, very popular,” Apatow told reporters. “So we did a show about young struggling actors and comedians and it starred Jason Segel, Kevin Hart, Amy Poehler, and January Jones. I don’t think any show has not been picked up faster.”

Yet the reason for a revival isn’t so much for its story as its practical joke value. “I’d like to try to do that again just to see what we would have to pay everybody,” Apatow joked.

What of a Freaks and Geeks revival, though? Apatow was nudged back towards the cult favorite, so he played ball and weighed in on whether his newfound relationship to Netflix would yield a revisit to the Geeks of William McKinley High School.

“All those kids are dead,” joked Apatow, adding, “You never know. It could happen. This year, it won’t happen. But we’ll see. I think James Franco’s already made a series of Freaks and Geeks and hasn’t told us yet.”

Freaks and Geeks

  • TV Show
  • In Season
  • NBC