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Why Pete Holmes Wanted To Break From The 'Traditional Path' Of Sitcoms For CBS' How We Roll

Pete Holmes in How We Roll CBS pilot
(Image credit: CBS)

Pete Holmes has returned to television for his first series regular role since the end of Crashing on HBO back in 2019, and his new project takes him to CBS. The actor, writer, and stand-up comedian stars in How We Roll, a new sitcom that sees him playing a Midwestern husband and father who decides to pursue his dream of becoming a professional bowler after being laid off from his job at a car assembly line. Shenanigans are sure to ensue, and his character is a family man who will undoubtedly run into some hijinks at home, but Holmes explained what stands out about How We Roll that made him want to sign on. 

How We Roll is actually based on the real-life story of pro bowler Tom Smallwood, but that's not what made Pete Holmes want to join the cast – also comprised of Katie Lowes as wife Jen, Chi McBride as mentor Archie, Julie White as his mom, and Mason Wells as his son – of the new comedy. He spoke with press outlets as part of CBS' Spring Press Day via Zoom, and opened up about his process of deciding that he wanted to play Tom:

When the script came in, right here where I'm sitting, it was during the quarantine, and my wife and I came back to this table, and she was over my shoulder, and I was reading it, right here on this computer, and we were just, like, ‘Please, be good. Please, be good. Please, be good.’ And not only did we relate… to the story, to breaking off a traditional path, and not only did we laugh on every page, but I was really touched that the wife wasn't just a nagging wife. Obviously, that's a trope. That's a cliché, [but] by this point played brilliantly by Katie, it's the opposite. It has more of a Ted Lasso, sort of, feel. She believes in him more than he believes in himself, which I found very beautiful.

Even though Tom deciding that he should pursue his dream of becoming a professional bowler undoubtedly isn't a sure thing to support the family, Pete Holmes shared that Jen won't be a "nagging wife" kind of character who has been done before on plenty of other sitcoms, and that's evidently the kind of departure from the norm that Holmes was looking for. 

Katie Lowes' character will be supportive of her husband and his dreams; considering the popularity of Ted Lasso (which stands as one of the best Apple TV+ shows worth watching), any similarities between it and How We Roll only bode well for the new CBS show! The script went even further to allay Pete Holmes' fears about How We Roll going down a "traditional" sitcom route for laughs. He continued, weighing in on his TV son's passion for dance:

And then, also, my son being a tap dancer. As soon as I read that, I got worried. I was, like, 'Uh-oh, is there going to be an episode where I take him, like, deer hunting, or something, and I try to scare him into a lifestyle more like mine?' And when that wasn't in the script, and wasn't in the series of the season, I was just so happy. So, all those boxes were checked. I laughed every page, there was heart, and I related to that story.

If a veteran comedian like Pete Holmes was laughing on every page, it's probably safe to say that there will be plenty for viewers to enjoy about the series, even if it's not embracing the usual sitcom tropes. In fact, a sneak peek at the pilot of How We Roll – which airs on Thursday, March 31 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS – shows the family dynamic in action, complete with Jen supporting her husband and Tom supporting his son's dance dreams. Take a look:

You can catch the series premiere of How We Roll (opens in new tab) on March 31 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS immediately following a new episode of the network's smash hit freshman series Ghost, which will dig into the backstory of Trevor and why he has no pants as a ghost. Even though Pete Holmes' new character is based on a successful pro bowler in real life, viewers probably shouldn't expect nothing but wins for Tom as he begins trying to establish himself while chasing his dream. 

How We Roll is only one of multiple new shows debuting on the small screen in the early months of the 2022 TV schedule, and only time will tell if it becomes as much of a hit as other CBS shows, such as Young Sheldon, which hits the 100-episode milestone just a little over an hour before the new show premieres on March 31. If you can't tune in live, you'll be able to catch up afterwards with a subscription to Paramount+

Laura Hurley
Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.