Are men back? Four years after ushering in a wave of female-fronted comedies with New Girl, Fox is now betting on a trio of charming men to lead its newest wave of sitcoms.
The network just gave series orders to two pilots, one starring TV veteran John Stamos and another starring newcomer Broadway actor Jack Cutmore-Scott. The duo join a new Fox comedy starring Rob Lowe that was announced earlier today.
The Stamos series is titled Grandfathered, and it has the former Full House star playing a version of himself: a longtime bachelor whose life is upended after he learns he’s a father and grandfather. The Cutmore-Scott project is called The Guide to Surviving Life and it “celebrates the mistakes and misadventures people make during the years after college before settling down.” Earlier, Fox picked up Lowe’s The Grinder (a project that’s an odds-on favorite for getting a name change before this fall), about a beloved TV lawyer who takes over his family’s small-town law firm when his hit series ends.
Two of the titles are more like family comedies than about single men per se, and none are directly targeting young men. Still, all have male leads, and come several years after Fox helped usher in sitcom programming trend centered around single young professional women that started with the network’s own New Girl, then expanded to include CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, Fox’s The Mindy Project and ABC’s Don’t Trust the B— and others. Fox might have been heartened by the performance of its Will Forte midseason comedy Last Man on Earth, which is one of the few new comedies this season to have any traction.
For Lowe, the series order gets the Parks and Recreation star back to primetime without missing a beat. While for Stamos, this is the actor’s first regular gig since a run on USA’s Necessary Roughness in 2013 (and before that, on NBC’s short-lived The New Normal that same year). Cutmore-Scott is an unknown to U.S. audiences so this order represents a major break, though he did appear in the recent spy-spoof Kingsman: The Secret Service.
More to come: We’re in frantic annual period of TV broadcasters making big decisions, so expect more series orders today and tomorrow—and verdicts on existing shows as well. Follow @jameshibberd and @natalieabrams for up-the-minute details.