A search is under way for a new showrunner to join creators/executive producers Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul on the 20th Century Fox TV-produced comedy. In the interim, the series’ director/executive producer Jake Kasdan is expected to take the lead. (He has extensive series experience as he also serves as an executive producer on 20th TV’s New Girl on Fox and Fresh Off The Boat on ABC.) Malins’ departure will not affect production on The Grinder, which just had a table read on Episode 3.
I hear Malins did not jibe with the creative team behind the comedy, which includes four executive producers — Mogel, Paul, Nick Stoller and Kasdan — and there was a multitude of opinions on the series’ creative direction.
Fox had been very high on Malins, an experienced showrunner, and only picked up The Grinder pilot to series in May after securing him for the helm. Malins, who is under an overall deal at 20th TV, is expected to focus on development.
The single-camera Grinder stars Lowe as beloved TV lawyer Dean Sanderson (aka “The Grinder”), with Fred Savage starring as his brother, Stewart. When his long-running hit series comes to an end, Sanderson finds himself at a crossroads in life and decides to move back to his small hometown, thinking he has the experience to take over his family’s law firm. Mary Elizabeth Ellis, William Devane and Hana Hayes co-star.
Marrying successfully unexperienced TV creators with seasoned showrunners comes down to chemistry, which might work or not. There are two other new series this season where showrunners who joined after the pilot have stepped down from their roles, ABC’s Blood & Oil and NBC’s Chicago Med. Another upcoming series, ABC drama The Catch, saw the departures of both the showrunner and the creator.