Amidst the flurry of cancellations yesterday, one show seemingly escaped the axe, ABC‘s midseason comedy Family Tools. It was more of a stay of execution, and I’ve learned that the low-rated recent addition is now officially cancelled too, joining the other ABC series that were notified of their demise last night, How To Live With Your Parents, Body Of Proof, Red Widow, Malibu Country. There you have it.
ABC’s Midseason Schedule: ‘Family Tools’ & ‘How To Live’ On Wednesday, ‘Red Widow’ On Sunday, ‘Zero Hour’ On Thursday
ABC is overhauling its schedule for midseason with changes on four nights. New comedies Family Tools and How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest Of Your Life) will join the network’s Wednesday comedy block, with ABC’s Tuesday comedy block going away. New drama Red Widow will succeed 666 Park Ave on Sunday. ABC is replacing now-defunct freshman Last Resort with another male-skewing new drama in the challenging Thursday 8 PM slot, Zero Hour. And, following the end of Private Practice, the revamped Body of Proof will return to its Tuesday 10 PM slot.
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Last August, Leah Remini’s name was in the news as she was ousted from CBS daytime’s The Talk along with Holly Robinson Peete. Now she’s at ABC in the new comedy Family Tools. And at today’s TCA panel on the comedy, she was relentlessly upbeat about the change.
“I do believe things happen for a reason, it’s a blessing”, she said. “I started at ABC in 1989 with Living Dolls. My mother said: ‘What part are you playing?’ Yeah”, she cracked. “But it is a blessing to be here, I love being back at ABC, I’d like to stay here and get comfortable”.
Remini seems determined to deflect any negatives and called her ouster from the daytime talk program “a learning experience”. After the session, she acknowledged that in hindsight “there were a lot of things I wish I didn’t say, but it’s live television”. As far as regrets go, she added: “It’s the relationships. It’s not just a job, it’s about the relationships”.
But back to the show. Remini was joined on the panel by co-stars Johnny Pemberton, J.K. Simmons, Kyle Bornheimer, Edi Gathegi and Danielle Nicolet, as well as executive producer Bobby Bowman. Bowman was asked to explain the genesis of the show’s title and how it will differ from the British series it is based on, White Van Man.
“It’s had more than three titles,” Bowman said. He said at first they thought of maintaining the title but “van man,” which means “fix-it guy,” is not an American expression. Then they considered “jack-of-all-trades,” but eventually landed on Family Tools.