In a busy number of hours for television, both network and cable, multiple networks have updated the statuses of their programmes.
To start with, Fox has issued full season orders to two of its new shows: The Grinder and Grandfathered. Both comedies have been netting respectable if unspectacular ratings since their debut, but both will run out a full 22-episode season.
The Grinder follows a famous television actor who, after wrapping up a successful run on a legal drama, takes a job at his family’s legal practice. The program, created by Jarrad Paul (Stargate SG-1, Yes Man) and Andrew Mogel (Yes Man, The D Train), has received a strong critical response with many claiming it as one of the better new shows this season. It stars five time Golden Globe nominee Rob Lowe (The West Wing, Parks and Recreation), two time Golden Globe nominee Fred Savage (The Wonder Years, Austin Powers in Goldmember), Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Happy Endings), Natalie Morales (Parks and Recreation, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), Hana Hayes (The Last of Us, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit), Connor Kalopsis (Days of Our Lives, Bad Words) and William Devane (24, Interstellar).
“The Grinder is the perfect combination of razor-sharp wit and relatable family dynamics — two hallmarks of successful comedies,” said David Madden, the president of Entertainment at Fox. “The critics have embraced this original, fresh and funny show, and the talented cast – led by Rob Lowe and Fred Savage — have done such an incredible job infusing it with biting humor and heartfelt moments. We are so excited about the storylines that these fantastic producers have planned for the rest of the season.”
Grandfathered, created by two time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Daniel Chun (The Simpsons, The Office), follows a middle aged playboy who is stunned to learn that he is not only a father but also a grandfather. It stars Primetime Emmy Award nominee John Stamos (Full House, ER), Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds, Justice League: Gods and Monsters), Josh Peck (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Red Dawn), Christina Milian (American Pie, Family Guy), Ravi Patel (Transformers, Master of None) and Kelly Jenrette (Happy Endings, Weird Loners).
“Grandfathered had the Herculean task of self-starting on what is an incredibly competitive Tuesday night, and the series has proven itself up to the challenge,” Madden said. “Since the very beginning we knew this show would be that rare commodity — a genuinely original family comedy. The remarkable John Stamos, Josh Peck, Paget Brewster, and the entire cast have sparkling chemistry, and the show’s creative team has delivered fantastic scripts that keep these great characters moving. We know fans are going to love the surprises in store for the rest of the season.”
CBS also issued a full season order, this time to its freshman comedy Life in Pieces, created by Justin Adler (Better Off Ted, Samantha Who?). An interesting take on the genre, each episode features multiple short stories told from the perspective of different members of the same family that sometimes intersect. It stars Golden Globe nominee Colin Hanks (King Kong, Fargo), Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad, Magic Mike), Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom, John Wick), Zoe Lister-Jones (Salt, The Other Guys), Dan Bakkedahl (Hitman: Agent 47, Get Hard), Angelique Cabral (Friends with Benefits, Enlisted), Niall Cunningham (Awkward., Deadbeat), Holly J. Barrett (Hetty Feather, Twisted Minds), Giselle Eisenberg (The Wolf of Wall Street, A Most Violent Year), two-time Golden Globe winner James Brolin (The Reagans, Marcus Welby, M.D.) and two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest (Bullets Over Broadway, Hannah and Her Sisters).
“Life in Pieces, with one of the best ensemble casts on television, is telling terrific stories in a very unique way, and we’re excited to tell many more of them this season,” said Glenn Geller the President of CBS Entertainment.
Truth Be Told over on NBC wasn’t so lucky. The comedy, created by DJ Nash (Growing Up Fisher, Up All Night), is a comedy following two couples who live next to each other, and it’s just had its episode order cut from thirteen episodes to ten, indicating that NBC likely has very little intention of continuing with it beyond its first season. It stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved by the Bell, NYPD Blue), Tone Bell (Bad Judge, Whitney), Vanessa Lachey (Dads, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) and Bresha Webb (ER, Weeds).
Similarly unlucky is HBO’s dark comedy The Brink. The Home Box Office has made a bizarre decision to cancel the show despite having renewed it only a short while ago. The programme, created by Primetime Emmy Award nominee Roberto Benabib (Weeds, Ally McBeal) and Kim Benabib, followed government employees in a time when the world is on the brink of a world war. It was meant to return for a second season in 2016, but will now never be seen again.
HBO blamed a packed schedule for the cancellation saying, “After evaluating our schedule and our programming needs, we unfortunately decided we cannot give The Brink the attention it deserves for a second season. We are proud of the first season and wish everyone involved in this show the very best.”
The Brink starred two-time Golden Globes nominee Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda, School of Rock), Academy Award winner Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption, War of the Worlds), Primetime Emmy Award nominee Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi), Aasif Mandvi (Madam Secretary, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), Maribeth Monroe (Workaholics, Parks and Recreation), Eric Ladin (The Killing, American Sniper), Geoff Pierson (Dexter, J. Edgar) and Esai Morales (NYPD Blue, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series).
Finally, on a positive note, Ash vs. the Evil Dead, Starz’s upcoming Evil Dead spin off, has scored a second season renewal before it’s even debuted. “One season isn’t enough to satisfy the fans’ two decade-long appetite for more Ash,” said Starz’s managing director Carmi Zlotnik. “The early fan and press support, along with the international broadcaster demand for more story have made it clear that the adventures of Ash Williams can’t end with season one”.
The series is a sequel to the classic film series and is created by Sam Raimi (Spider Man, Oz the Great and Powerful), the film’s director. It features Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) returning to the lead role of Ash along with Jill Marie Jones (Sleepy Hollow, American Horror Story), Ray Santiago (Bad Judge, Raising Hope), Dana Delorenzo (A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue) and Lucy Lawless (Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Xena: Warrior Princess). The first season is scheduled to premiere this Saturday on October 31.