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Fox is known for its young-skewing and wide-ranging comedies, which include a slew of animated comedies alongside live action fodder. This season, the network launched two big comedy nights on the network, airing an entire block in the usual Sunday Funday lineup, but also creating a full two-hour block to air on Tuesdays. Unfortunately, neither lineup ended up working well for the freshman comedies Fox put out. Fox announced that The Grinder will not be back for Season 2, and is joining Bordertown, Grandfathered and Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Life as shows that got the axe this year. Rob Lowe announced the cancellation of The Grinder in a flurry of tweets that talked about his experience on the witty comedy that was chock full of TV industry references and meta humor and that winked at its potential cancellation through the latter half of its 22 episodes. Here’s what he had to say:
The Grinder was not renewed by [Fox]. It was unapologetically original, smart, funny and had a murder's row of talent.The great news is, that film is forever. And I'm thrilled to have 22 episodes that were as acclaimed as they were. Time well spent! And there is still Grindr. So there's that. #NotAllBadNews
Rob Lowe’s comments are mostly sincere and poignant and I think a lot of fans are feeling the sting of the cancellation right now, although anyone who has been paying attention to the ratings, should know the numbers The Grinder was pulling in were less than stellar. Still, in perfect comedic fashion, Lowe also ends with a bit of an uplifting joke, and that Grinder/Grindr comment is a perfect way to close the book on a critically acclaimed and criminally under watched comedy. We’ll miss it as much as you will, Rob Lowe.
Fox made the news about The Grinder’s cancellation around the same time it also dropped Grandfathered. While neither show was highly rated on Tuesday nights, both had pros and cons and the rumor mill had stated that one or the other was likely to get renewed. While The Grinder was doing a little worse in the ratings, it was a Fox property and was well liked by critics and those at the network. Grandfathered didn’t have the critical acclaim and wasn’t wholly owned by the studio, but it was doing a little better in the ratings, which gave it a potential boost for renewal. I wasn’t sure which one should win the battle, but I’m devastated that neither did.
As it stands, The Grinder was a short but sweet little series that explored the world of a TV show within a TV show for 22 wacky episodes. During that time it was on the air, it made a lasting impression on its (admittedly small) group of fans and while it has been cancelled, I suppose now is as good of a time as any to ask: “But what if it wasn’t?”