The Dictator (lost footage from unfinished CBS sitcom TV series; 1988)

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Vintage TV Guide page advertising the show.

Status: Lost

The Dictator was a 1988 American sitcom scheduled to begin airing on CBS on March 15th. The program would star Christopher Lloyd as Joseph Paul Domingo, a dictator from a small Caribbean island who is deposed and exiled to Queens, New York. There, he sets up a laundromat with his wife Isabel (played by Deborah Rush) and their children, Reggie and Andrew (Robyn Lively and John David Cullum), as well as Domingo's former general, Vesuvio (Joe Grifasi). The pilot also featured David Allen Grier and Peter Crombi as guest stars. Bob Elliott also appeared.

The show was scheduled to air on Tuesday nights at 9:30. However, on March 7th, The Writer's Guild went on strike just as the series was set to tape its third episode. The network didn't want to premiere a series with so few episodes and ultimately cancelled it without airing the two episodes produced. [1] One of the produced episodes was written by John Swartzwelder, later of The Simpsons. [2]

The series has since faded into obscurity, and aside from magazine ads and promotional images, it hasn't been seen or been made available to the public.

In 2012, a similar concept would have been recycled by Sacha Baron Cohen in a feature comedy film also titled The Dictator.