Seems unlikely, given the production team broke out in hives at the mere mention of the original series. It took lengthy discussion before a passing reference to Spock was allowed into the script for 'Sarek'.
I'm pretty sure the idea was pitched as a sequel to A Private Little War
. Also, not sure I get the "hives" comment. They may have acted that way but they still mined TOS for elements pretty regularly and many of the season one episodes were remixes of TOS episodes.
I heard they were supposed to act if it didn't exist. Sure they could copy it but they were never to mention the characters. It was only later in the series when TNG was a success and certain people had left that they could relax and acknowledge it reluctantly.