How The Grinder Helped Fred Savage Return To Acting

Dean celebrating in court in The Grinder

While there were plenty of surprise TV cancellations this year, there is a community that is still collectively mourning a loss from a year ago. Fox cancelled the Rob Lowe and Fred Savage led comedy The Grinder last year, despite positive critical reception. But while it was a bummer that the show didn't have a longer life on the air, there is a silver lining: The Grinder brought Fred Savage back onto our TVs. He's a series regular in Netflix's upcoming Friends From College, and it turns out that working on the cancelled comedy helped reignite his love for acting.

I had the chance to speak with Fred Savage at Netflix's press junket in New York. When asked if The Grinder helped him rediscover his love for acting, Savage said:

It did. It really did. It not only reignited my excitement for it, that I didn't realize was lying dormant there. But it also made me feel like I could still do it. And that there was maybe still a seat for me at the table.

Doesn't that just warm your heart? You always have a seat at the table, Kevin Arnold. You've just got to decide if you want to sit down or not.

While Fred Savage hadn't done a ton of acting in recent memory before The Grinder, he's still been very involved in television production. Savage has done quite a bit of TV directing in his career, beginning in the early 2000's with work on The Disney Channel. Since then, he's picked up directing gigs on an variety of shows, including 20 episodes of the recently cancelled sitcom Two Broke Girls and IFC's Garfunkel and Oates.

But now he's back to acting, and has booked two major roles in the past two years. In Friends From College, Savage plays Max Adler, a key member of the titular group of buddies. His performance (particularly his chemistry with co-star Keegan Michael-Key) are a major highlight of the upcoming series, as well as his relationship with love interest Felix, played by Billy Eichner.

Although TV audiences are no doubt happy to see him return to the small screen in Friends From College, it is a little bittersweet given that The Grinder had to be cancelled in order for it to happen. The Grinder focused on a pair of brothers (Fred Savage and Rob Lowe), one of whom is famous for playing a lawyer on TV. Said actor brother returns to their hometown and decides his years of fake litigation makes him qualified to work int he family law practice, and hilarity ensued. While Fox cancelled the series after just one season, you can currently watch it on Netflix.

You can catch Fred Savage in Friends From College when she series debuts July 14th on Netflix. In the meantime, check out our summer premiere list and plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.