That ’70s Show alum Topher Grace is returning to network comedy as a star of Home Economics, ABC’s single-camera family comedy pilot from writers Michael Colton and John Aboud, the Tannenbaum Co., Lionsgate TV and ABC Studios.
Grace, who also will executive produce Home Economics, was among the sought after actors this pilot season. Landing him lifted the contingency off Home Economics, securing the project a pilot green light. It also marked one of the biggest talent deals so far this pilot season.
As Deadline reported last month, because of the increased competition from streamers which is luring away top acting talent, broadcast networks have been pressured to raise the salary bar in order to attract top-tier actors who are growing more reluctant to do a broadcast show. Observers had expected $250,000 per episode to be the target for securing big names for pilots this year. I hear Grace’s fee is north of that, possibly close to $300,000 an episode.
Written by Colton and Aboud inspired by Colton’s family,, Home Economics is said to be in the vein of Modern Family and revolves around three adult siblings: one in the 1 percent, one middle-class, and one barely holding on.
Grace will play Tom, the middle sibling and middle-class, but definitely not middle-brow. He’s an intellectual, a novelist who’s had a couple books that sold decently, but his last one did not. He strives to be where his brother is financially, but fears he’ll slip down to his sister’s level. He’s in a creative field so his income fluctuates. That wasn’t such a concern when he was starting out but now he’s plagued by financial anxiety after having twins.
Colton and Aboud executive produce with Grace as well as Kim and Eric Tannenbaum of The Tannenbaum Company, whose Jason Wang is co-executive producer. Lionsgate Television’s Maxfield Elins will oversee the series on behalf of the studio
Grace will next be seen in Jon Stewart’s Irresistible pposite Steve Carell and Rose Byrne. Grace was recently seen in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, Under the Silver Lake opposite Andrew Garfield, and with Brad Pitt in War Machine for director David Michod. In TV, he starred opposite Julianna Margulies on Nat Geo’s popular limited series The Hot Zone. Grace is repped by ICM Partners, Lighthouse Management + Media and Ziffren Brittenham.