The Premise: Starring Emmy Award nominee Rob Lowe (PARKS AND RECREATION, THE WEST WING) and Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Fred Savage (THE WONDER YEARS), THE GRINDER is a new comedy about two brothers: one a spotlight-grabbing actor who plays TV’s most popular lawyer and the other, a real-life, small-town attorney who has yet to find his spotlight. When his long-running hit series comes to an end, Dean (Lowe) finds himself at a crossroads in life and decides to move back to his small home town thinking he has the experience to take over his family’s law firm, where he butts heads with his brother, Stewart (Savage).
The Premiere Date: Tuesday, Sept. 29 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (City TV in Canada)
The Competition: FRESH OFF THE BOAT (ABC), THE FLASH (The CW), THE VOICE (NBC), NCIS (CBS)
The Quick Take: Despite its somewhat sitcom-esque premise (One brother’s a lawyer… one plays one on TV!) this single-camera comedy played much better then advertised. The show’s premise not only allows for the show to take some seriously funny shots at serialized dramas with a nice blend of meta and not-quite-meta gags, Lowe and Savage appear to be having the time of their life playing off one another. Also working in the show’s favor, both Lowe and Savage’s ridiculously likeable on screen personas turn what otherwise might have been annoying and over-the-top characters into likeable winners.
The Bottom Line: Seeing as though we have a severe weakness for shows that send-up Hollywood (RIP: ENTOURAGE and ACTION), we’ve already awarded THE GRINDER a season’s pass. Of course, whether that pass actually last the entire season will depend on whether the show can evolve pass its sitcome-esque premise. #staytuned