Poster: Mr. Television
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The Grubbs star, Randy Quaid at the FOX 2002 Summer TCA Tour, held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, January 22, 2002.
Mike Grubb (Randy Quaid) is one of a long line of underachieving Grubbs. Mike believes that the key to happiness is setting the bar very, very low -- and if that doesn't work -- setting it even lower. For Mike, his two proudest achievements are finding a loving, supporting (and some would say co-dependent) wife, Rosie Grubb (Carol Kane), who believes he is the most perfect man on earth, and his monthly disability check -- the result of a career-ending, industrial "accident."
Mike's oldest son, the simplistic, enthusiastic and occasionally destructive Jimmy Grubb (Brian Sites), is a chip off the underachieving block. Thirteen-year-old Mitch Grubb (Michael Cera) has begrudgingly accepted his destiny of hopeless mediocrity. A C-minus student and poor athlete (but with a big heart), Mitch's biggest dream is to fly under everybody's radar.
But hope finally knocks on Mitch's door in the form of his beautiful new teacher, Ms. Krenetsky (Lori Rom), who sees his potential and teaches him to dream. As for Mitch, he is sure he has found his soulmate. But the course of true love runs anything but smooth. Not only is Mitch plagued by the affections of the town's weird girl Cricket (Alexandra Krosney), but Ms. Krenetsky becomes romantically involved with Mitch's gym teacher and arch nemesis, Coach Garra (Ricardo Antonio Chavira).
The Grubbs is a comedy series about small victories -- and about a boy with the hope, heart and sheer force of will that it takes to rise above his fate.
The Grubbs is produced by Sternin/Ventimilia Productions, Granada Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television in association with Universal Television. The Grubbs is executive produced by Joshua Sternin, Jeffrey Ventimilia and Ann Johnson. Sternin and Ventimilia serve as writers.
An Article from The Pittsburgh-Gazette
Tuned In: Fox's underachieving 'Grubbs' will likely bug local residents
Wednesday, July 24, 2002
By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor
PASADENA, Calif. -- There's another TV show ostensibly set in Western Pennsylvania, but Pittsburghers may be less likely to embrace this one than they have "The Guardian."
The upcoming Fox sitcom "The Grubbs" (9:30 p.m. Sundays beginning Nov. 3) takes place in a depressed steel town, and the children in the family have the Pirates logo and a Kordell Stewart poster on their bedroom wall.
Executive producer Josh Sternin, a New Jersey native, said the fictitious Hackville is "somewhere in the Steel Belt," although he mentioned both Allentown and Western Pennsylvania as inspirations.
Like Showtime's Pittsburgh-set gay soap opera "Queer as Folk," "The Grubbs" came to Pennsylvania by way of England. "The Grubbs" is based on a Britcom called "The Grimleys" that took place in a bleak town in the '70s.
"We were looking for what the parallel would be," he said, and they came up with "steel towns where the steel industry is in trouble."
In "The Grubbs," Randy Quaid plays a father on disability who feigns injury to keep from working. It's a character not far removed from the boob he played in the "Vacation" movies.
"They're both conniving in a way, and they're trying to beat the system," Quaid said, "and trying to maneuver through the system to get some money the easiest way they can. But it's always for their family and the good of the family."
In a clip Fox showed, the announcer claimed "The Grubbs" is "the comedy that proves underachieving is overrated." When 13-year-old Mitch (Michael Cera)-- the only Grubb with ambition, hopes and dreams -- uses the word "edifying," his mother (Carol Kane) advises him against it.
"Just say, 'good,' honey. You'll have more friends."
A family of losers who don't believe in getting ahead brings to mind "Married ... With Children," but Sternin said that's not an apt comparison.
"The joke on 'Married ... With Children' was that everybody hated everybody," he said. "We actually have people who are really committed to each other, only they've learned some very bad life lessons...."
To give a glimpse of the thinking behind the family in this show, Sternin said he ordered the set decorator to remove all books from the show's set. No one will accuse "The Grubbs" of being highbrow.
"We're not pitching this as the ideal, perfect family that everyone should aspire to," executive producer Jeffrey Ventimilia said. "It's a comedy -- we're supposed to be making fun."
Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman said adjustments will be made to "The Grubbs" before it airs.
"The father will be more of a schemer than as negative as he is," she said. "It's a slight directional shift, and I think it will be more effective for the show."
Countering the pilot's negativity is Mitch's teacher, played by 1997 Carnegie Mellon University graduate Lori Rom, who said the show's "silly humor" and its setting appealed to her.
"It made me so happy that they have little Steelers and Pirates pennants on the walls," Rom said. "I was so happy to see in the script [that] it's set in a small steel town outside of Pittsburgh, and I love that."
Her character brightens the show -- literally.
"Wardrobe-wise, they want it to be grays and browns, and they're using clothes that look kind of used [for the rest of the cast], and then I'm wearing pinks and purples and whites," Rom said. "Even with the colors, they want it to be, like, 'She's from another town.' "
Mitch has a crush on Rom's Ms. Krenetsky, which producers said sets "The Grubbs" apart.
"We actually loved a kid who is actually pure of motive," Sternin said. "There's so much cynicism in pretty much everything else on TV, and we have someone who is not at all cynical. ... We found that, in the middle of all the chaos, really attractive."
For a Page dedicated to tv shows canceled before they even aired go to http://www.tvobscurities.com/articles/cancelled_before_they_premiered/
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Keywords: Randy Quaid