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Michael Strahan to star in Fox's next short-lived sitcom

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michael-strahan-brothers.JPGHere in the Midwest, we don't purport to know much about the inner machinations of Hollywood. We tend to believe that the studio decision makers sit around all day in their mansions dreaming up clever ideas that manifest into the drivel we consume during our evenings. We're OK with that. We accept it, and seldom question it with any seriousness -- which is why "Two and a Half Men" has existed for six seasons and Mark-Paul Gosselaar counts himself among the nation's employed.

It's also why "Brothers" -- the new Michael Strahan sitcom -- will come to life on the Fox network this fall. Yes ... the same Michael Strahan who set an NFL record with 22.5 sacks in a single season.

Why? Why would you do this, Fox? Why would you, Michael Strahan, with the original luster on your 2007 Super Bowl ring yet to tarnish, decide to do this?

According to the video promo on Fox's Web site, "Brothers" is "about the people we love ... the family we need ... and everything in between." Forgive me if I'm out of line here, but isn't everything in between the people we love and the family we need ... well, everything?

While "Seinfeld" followed the show-about-nothing formula to success, Michael Strahan's new sitcom is apparently about everything.  On the contrary, it's about a retired NFL player who is coping with life after the NFL. So, it's about Michael Strahan.

Here's the Fox plot treatment for the show:
BROTHERS Starring Michael Strahan ("FOX NFL Sunday") and Daryl "Chill" Mitchell ("Ed," "Veronica's Closet"), BROTHERS is a new half-hour comedy about a former NFL hot shot who learns that even though you can always go home again, the trip back might be tougher than you think.

MIKE TRAINOR (Strahan) seemingly has it all - he's a good-looking, wealthy and recently retired NFL player living the high-life in New York City, but he's about to get sidelined. When Mike gets a phone call from his MOM (CCH Pounder, "The Shield") who orders him home to Houston, he quickly realizes the more his life has changed, the more his family has stayed the same.

His brother CHILL (Daryl "Chill" Mitchell), whose life was altered drastically after a car accident left him in a wheelchair, is struggling to keep his restaurant afloat with the help of his loudmouth associate, ROSCOE (Colton Dunn, "MADtv"). The dynamics between Mike and Chill are the same as when they were kids, and their sibling rivalry hasn't lessened with age. If they can stop their bickering, put aside their differences and learn to be teammates, the brothers might just turn out to be each other's biggest asset.

Wedged between Mike and Chill are their parents. Their father, whom everyone refers to as COACH (Carl Weathers, "Rocky"), is the local high school football coach and the conservative, opinionated alpha male of his clan. Coach thinks he runs the show, but really it's Mom who calls the shots. Saucy, stern and a schemer, she is the mastermind of the family. And when she learns that Mike's business manager took off with all his money, she orchestrates a plan to keep Mike in Houston, save Chill's restaurant and bring the family back together under one roof again - all without anyone realizing what she's up to.

Mom's plan helps Mike realize that his family - however dysfunctional they may be - is the only family he's got. And although he may not have a penny to his name, as long as he's surrounded by people who love him, he'll always be a rich man.
I don't need to turn a page to judge this book by its cover. With "Brothers" Fox is once again trying to tap further into the complete idiot demographic.

It's hard to believe that the same network that brought us "The Simpsons," "Arrested Development" and "Family Guy" would decide "Brothers" would be a good investment. What's even more mind boggling is that Mitch Hurwitz, who served as executive producer on "Arrested Development" would put his name behind "Brothers."

For Strahan's part, finding success as a former athlete in the sitcom world is virtually unprecedented. Bob Golic's run as Cal U resident adviser Mike Rogers on "Saved By the Bell: The College Years" lasted one season -- memorable only for the epic mullet Golic sported.

Former Bull Reggie Theus made the move to TV as coach Bill Fuller in "Hang Time" -- which you likely didn't see.

Seems like the recipe for success when it comes to athletes making the jump to TV lies in the cameo. Just ask Keith Hernandez, Paul O'Neill, Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams -- all of whom had memorable stints on "Seinfeld."

Ask Shaq and Muggsy Bogues, whose cameos in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" were nothing short of ... pretty good.

And who could forget Kevin McHale's 1991 appearance on "Cheers" to celebrate Norm's 40th birthday? Classic!

But starring in his own sitcom? No, Michael Strahan. No.

If there is comedy to be found here, it's only in the fact that Hollywood executives think that those of us in the fly-over states would be so simple-minded as to want to tune in week after week to watch Michael Strahan, and listen to jokes like this gem from his on-screen brother, directed at the gap-toothed future hall-of-famer:

"You know what you should do with your two front teeth? Introduce 'em."

You know what you should do with crappy, mindless sitcoms Fox? Stop making 'em.

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9 Comments

Your article is absolutely ridiculous. Thank god your not in Hollywood making decisions. Life is a little more complicated in the big city Michael. Maybe you should leave your rock and try life in the big ring for a while. And by the way Mark-Paul gosselaar seems to be a fine actor. and apparently you watched Saved by the Bell the college years....Stop calling yourself out. Grow up you probably won't even let this comment go through for others to read....in an effort to keep yourself important.

"Saved by the Bell: The College Years" was one of the best shows ever. The episode where Zack throws a rave while Golic was away was a television masterpiece.

Kevin Replies: I stand corrected.

As much as I want to dislike you for your article I must admit your headline made me laugh. And you can't dislike someone who makes you laugh--which is what I think you'll find with this show. It's good, Kevin. Honestly. I don't blame you for your prediction -- I'd be capable of making the same one. But I think you'll actually like this. I hope so anyway. Best, Mitch Hurwitz, Bogglingly Executive Producer of Brothers (alongside the great Don Reo and Eric and Kim Tannenbaum)

I think you'll be retracting your comments when you see just how well written and funny this show is. I, for one can't wait to see another multi-camera comedy make it big- just because its... well, um- funny!

Kevin, I find you to be a tad dooshie. Nonetheless, I cannot believe that some of your readers are offended by your stance on this show (that's you, Robynn). Without question, this is going to be pure crap. The only comedy will be entirely unintentional. I would be shocked if this show reaches its 6th episode.

The word terrible is running laps around my head. This show is terrible. This article is even worse. And your smug, douche-tastic photo is the terrible cherry on top.

Ditto.

This show is abhorrent. I can't even watch it without getting upset at how bad it is. Everything Kevin has written in this article is completely relevant. When something this terrible comes on T.V., one is allowed to use sarcasm and smugness to point out its worthlessness. This synopsis is apt. Kudos Kevin for not holding back on this abomination of television.

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Allen published on May 19, 2009 9:18 AM.

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