The low-laugh TV season will get another boost.
CBS announced today that “How We Roll” (shown here) will join its line-up next spring, after “B Positive” ends its season. That’s the same approach that successfully launched “United States of Al” this year.
“Roll,” is based on the true story of Tom Smallwood, a Michigan autoworker whose life changed when he was 30. Laid off from work – and unable to find another job during a recession – he revived his dream of being a professional bowler.
He’ll be played by Pete Holmes (left), who is similar to Smallwood in get-by approach – a previous sitcom about Holmes’ life was called “Crashing” – if not in height. Holmes is 6-foot-5, Smallwood is 5-foot-6.
Katie Lowes, fresh from “Scandal” and the CBS movie “Santa Takes Flight,” plays his wife, with Chi McBride (right) as the long-supportive owner of a local bowling alley. The show debuts March 31.
The news comes as networks crawl back from a season with few sitcoms.
At the peak, there were as many as 18 on one network. This fall, there were only 10 total (cartoons excluded), on the five broadcast networks – six on CBS, four on ABC, zero on NBC, Fox and CW.
Now that’s getting a mid-season fix. Changes include:
– ABC adds two comedies Jan. 4 – the new “Abbott Elementary” and the belated season-opener of “Black-ish.” They’ll be on Tuesdays, alongside an unscripted hour with Steve Harvey as a judge.
– Fox also adds a new show and a returning one. Mayim Bialik’s “Call Me Kat” will get a post-footall return on Jan. 9, then settle into Thursdays on Jan. 13, leading into the new “Pivoting.”
– NBC has five comedies (two of them new) – all getting advance peeks next week. “American Auto” will be 10 and 10:30 p.m. Monday (Dec. 13) and “Grand Crew” will be 8 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday; they’ll take Tuesday spots, starting Jan. 4. “Young Rock,” “Kenan” and “Mister Mayor” will have Christmas episodes Wednesday (Dec. 14); “Kenan” gets a Monday spot on Jan. 3; the other two will take Tuesdays on March 15, once “American Auto” and “Grand Crew” finish.