An older-skewing sitcom on Fox?
As one TCA journo pointed out today it’s not a programming choice the edgy network of The Simpsons and In Living Color is known for, and yet the network has not one comedy series aimed at older adults after Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing coming over from ABC, but two with the Charlie-Day senior citizen series The Cool Kids.
Written/created by Day and Paul Fruchbom, The Cool Kids revolves around three guy friends in a retirement community who are the top dogs until they’re blown out of the water by the newest member of the community, a female rebel whose ready to challenge their place – it’s high school with 70 somethings. Vicki Lawrence, Martin Mull, David Alan Grier and Leslie Jordan star. The series was inspired by Day’s time working in a nursing home.
“It’s something that younger Fox would never do,” said one TCA member today during the Fox exec session with Dana Walden and Gary Newman.
“These shows are really funny and I think Fox has a great history of zigging when others zag. I don’t think you’ll see too many series on other networks like these,” responded Newman, “It will feel contemporary and we have a cast of actors who know how to find a joke.”
Walden mentioned that Cool Kids was in development before Roseanne became a hit on ABC; a series which reawakened networks’ eyes to how a series can truly rally in the flyover states.
Day mentioned that he watched a lot of Golden Girls to inform his creative process. One rule of thumb for him: to avoid “We’re old jokes”.
Day also felt that growing up such shows like Golden Girls played to younger audiences and didn’t alienate them and that’s his m.o. with The Cool Kids too.
Said the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star “I thought why isn’t anyone doing this now? I beat Chuck Lorre. There was a conversation with the network about putting younger characters in, and I said ‘That’s ridiculous!’ The braver thing was that I stuck to my guns and didn’t force young characters (in the show). Fox was kind enough to relent to my yelling.”