If you had told me in the '80s that Rob Lowe and Fred Savage would be doing a television sitcom together, I never would have believed you. Rob Lowe was too much of a hearthrob to be confined to TV (which, back then, wasn't as prestigious as it can be now), and Savage was just a kid and in no way Lowe's acting equal. Yet, here were are, on the cusp of the midseason finale of The Grinder — a show that not only puts Lowe and Savage together, but makes them brothers, no less. And lo, it is good. So good, in fact, that I'm dreading the winter hiatus. The show airs its midseason finale on Fox Dec. 1, but when will The Grinder come back for its midseason premiere?
The good news is that there is definitely a return date, and we don't have to wait for it for too long. The Grinder returns January 5, right after New Year's. That's not much of a wait at all. It could have been much worse, too. Like with most new shows these days, Fox only initially ordered half a season's worth of episodes, which means we could've been waiting until next fall to see Lowe and Savage team up again. But, thankfully, the network ordered six more scripts, and then went back again and greenlit the rest of a full season. Phew!
When The Grinder returns, it's going to have some new neighbors. Sure, it'll still be paired with Grandfathered, which makes sense because that one also has an '80s-heartthrob-turned-sitcom-star in John Stamos. But a couple of other returning series will be joining them on Tuesday nights. First, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is shifting to Tuesdays from Sundays in order to give a new sitcom, Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life, a plum launching spot between The Simpsons and Family Guy. Then, New Girl will take the last slot, so that Fox will now have a bloc of four half-hour sitcoms anchoring its Tuesday night.
This shift is a bit of a risky move for a network. When NBC put four (brilliant) comedies together — including Parks and Recreation, which also starred Rob Lowe — the bloc tanked for the network so badly that NBC is now gunshy about sitcoms altogether. Then again, this fall, ABC had a successful Wednesday night bundling together The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, and Black-ish. But it doesn't really matter to me if Fox's whole night is successful. With The Grinder coming back and joining the rest of that lineup, it'll literally be the funniest Rob Lowe-filled comedy night on TV.
Images: Ray Mickshaw/FOX; Giphy (2)