“The Grinder” is bringing Rob Lowe back to TV, after successful runs on “The West Wing,” “Brothers and Sisters” and “Parks and Recreation.” Will this be his next breakout hit? Lowe tells Zap2it he thinks it’s very possible.
“I’m so happy to find a worthy successor to ‘Parks and Recreation,'” says Lowe. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving. The most fun part of ‘The Grinder’ for me is making the show within the show.”
The aforementioned show within the show is also called “The Grinder.” The premise of FOX’s new comedy is that Lowe is an actor who has played a high-powered lawyer — the Grinder — on TV for years. After the show ends, he comes home to Idaho for a break and ends up sticking around, mostly because he thinks that with all his background practicing law on TV, he can join his father (William Devane) and brother (Fred Savage) in their real-life law practice.
But the fake “Grinder” show makes appearances throughout the show, something the actors and creators say is the most fun to shoot.
“When we do ‘The Grinder,’ we are so elated and ecstatic, having so much fun. It’s every bad show that you don’t want to end up on that is on television that you see, and we like doing it for fun,” says Lowe.
“it is just one of these over the top, melodramatic, totally ridiculous but takes itself completely seriously [shows],” adds Savage. “It’s everything you want to do as an actor but can’t. You want to go really big and broad and chew the scenery, just totally overdo it and when you’re doing ‘The Grinder’ part of ‘The Grinder,’ you can’t overdo it enough.”
Savage doesn’t actually film any fake “Grinder” scenes, because he’s the non-actor of the two brothers. But he says he watches them shoot the scenes and “it’s just fantastic.”
Executive producer Andrew Mogel says that “every episode” starts with a scene from “The Grinder,” which “informs the episode thematically.” But perhaps more fake “Grinder” is in store than just one scene each week.
“We keep joking that one day we are going to get to a place where we just make that show, make one episode, that [‘Grinder’] pilot,” says co-executive producer Jarrad Paul.
For now, even having one scene per episode provides a plethora of silly fun, including great guest stars.
“Other actors so get it when they watch it that they are calling and wanting to be on the show,” says Lowe. “We signed the great Jason Alexander to play the creator of ‘The Grinder.'”
“The Grinder” premieres Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.