Most of the people who caught The Grinder when it aired on Fox really liked the meta plot and great cast, but unfortunately the number of people who stuck with the comedy wasn't as high as Fox needed or wanted. The series was unceremoniously cancelled in May, but that hasn't stopped Rob Lowe from championing the series and trying to get another network to pick up The Grinder. He recently revealed some blunt opinions about Fox, why The Grinder getting cancelled was such a huge disappointment, and why another network really needs to pick the half-hour comedy up. Here's what he had to say.
My interest in The Grinder is with the understanding that this group will be hard to reassemble, if not impossible. The notion of a show as acclaimed, as original, with the level of talent in front of and behind the camera and that has done all this has done in its first year wouldn't have a home anywhere on television, it seems a little outrageous. That it doesn't have a home on network television tells you all you need to know about network television.
While speaking with Indiewire, Rob Lowe revealed that's he's been tweeting about his love for the character and hopefully getting back to grinding because he really did believe in the comedy. Generally when a show is cancelled, if there is any hope of the series getting revived we usually hear about it fairly quickly, as happened when ABC cancelled Nashville, only to see the series get revived by CMT. So even with little to no traction on the comedy moving forward, at the very least, Rob Lowe should be proud of the character he played on the series and the stage he got to share with Fred Savage, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Natalie Morales, Steve Little and William Devane.
The cancellation sting can clearly still be felt by Rob Lowe, who takes a few more shots at network TV in the interview, noting that he might end up on network TV again in the future, but there are currently a lot of problems with the format.
I would absolutely think about it with the right project, but if you look at the schedules that are out there, people are trying to tell you a lot of it is based on nostalgia and comfort viewing. And to me, nostalgia is a dog whistle for 'unoriginal' and 'tried before,' and comfort is a dog whistle for 'no challenge whatsoever to the mind of the viewer.'
That's certainly a blunt way of putting it. Every show that ever gets cancelled does has some fans who are devastated to hear about the cancellation. It always sucks a little more when a show has gotten good reviews and has been really well-liked by fans, as happened with both Fox's Grinder and Grandfathered this year. It's why short-lived shows like Firefly and Freaks and Geeks still live on in the cultural memory. Cancellations like that sting even harder because there's a sense that on a streaming service like Netflix or a cable network like FX, The Grinder may have fared better.
Rob Lowe hasn't signed on for a new series, yet, but we'll let you know when he does. In the meantime, you can check out what TV has coming up this summer with our premiere schedule. In addition, you can see which shows are coming back next fall with our Network Rundown.