For any comedy developed at CBS, the grand prize of pilot season is the slot behind THE BIG BANG THEORY on Thursday night. That prize went this year to Greg Garcia’s THE MILLERS. It’s an unusual multi-camera comedy for Garcia, with a first-rate cast that includes Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, Beau Bridges and J.B. Smoove (Michael Rapaport and Mary Elizabeth Ellis, even though the latter is seen in CBS’s featurette, are being recast).
The Millers looks like it’s going to lack the surreal touches of Garcia’s My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope, and aim much more at the multi-camera center. The premise isn’t terribly new, combining the “recent divorce” with the “moving back in with parents” sitcom subgenres. The twist here is that when Arnett’s parents hear about his divorce, they decide to split up themselves, with mom Martindale moving in with him while dad Bridges moves in with his sister. It looks like Arnett is going to be more of the straight man to Bridges, Martindale and Smoove here than he usually is. Those three, however, are high-grade talent, and the show will obviously benefit from a huge lead-in. Facing Welcome To the Family as its comedy competition on NBC, Millers appears to have the upper hand.