on the roof
 adj.— «“on the roof”: A character or bit that hasn’t been written out yet, but is on double secret probation before shoot day. I’m proud to say, this is my own little contribution to the lexicon, which I’ve learned has travelled to other shows. Based the old joke: A guy has his brother watch his cat while he’s on vacation. First day out, he calls his brother. “How’s my cat?” “Sorry, Bill, the cat’s dead.” “Dammit, don’t tell me that! Now my vacation’s ruined!” “Well, what was I supposed to say?” “Ease me into it! Tell me that the cat’s gone up on the roof, and you can’t get it down. Next time I call, tell me the cat’s still on the roof, and it won’t come down. Then, when I call the last time, tell me the cat died, so it’s not a shock.” “Fine, fine. Sorry.” “Okay. So, how’s Mom?” “…Mom’s up on the roof and she won’t come down.” When, after the table read, a day-player just isn’t up to snuff, or a bit lays there, a lot of times you know it’ll never see the light of day on the shoot, but you just haven’t come up with anything to replace it—yet. That bit/actor is “on the roof.”» —“Writing: Jargon Preservation” by John Rogers Kung Fu Monkey Apr. 15, 2005. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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