Smallwood, the CBS bowling comedy starring Crashing’s Pete Holmes, has been given a striking new name and had its episode order adjusted.
The multi-camera comedy, which is currently in production, has been retitled How We Roll.
Based on the life of professional bowler Tom Smallwood, the series stars Holmes as Tom, a stoic Midwest husband and dad who gets laid off from a car assembly line and makes the extraordinary decision to provide for his family by following his dream of becoming a professional bowler.
As a skilled player, Tom knows that in bowling you get two chances; no matter what you do with the first ball, you get another one to make it right — the ultimate second chance. Keeping that in mind, Tom begins his new career with the loving OK from his wife, Jen, played by Katie Lowes, and the unfaltering support of Archie, played by Chi McBride, his mentor and the proud owner of Archie’s Lanes: Home of the Curly Fry. It remains to be seen if Tom will strike it big on the pro bowlers circuit, but right now, the pins are set, he’s taking his second shot, and it’s 300 or bust.
The series was originally handed a pilot plus 12 episode order but this has now been adjusted to a pilot plus 10 ep order. It’s believed that this decision was made for scheduling reasons rather than creative ones. The comedy, which has not yet been dated, is expected to launch in midseason and given that CBS has a full slate of comedies, it only had room for 11 episodes.
Episode orders across the linear broadcast networks are becoming more flexible, accelerated by the pandemic.
The series, which comes from writer Mark Gross and producers David Hollander and Brian D’Arcy James, also shot a presentation pilot with guest actors that were always planned to be recast if it was picked up to series.
Julie White, for instance, is set to star as series regular Helen Smallwood, Tom’s mother, but she didn’t appear in the presentation pilot but rather a guest actress took on the role.
How We Roll is produced by CBS Studios with Gross, Hollander and D’Arcy James as executive producers. Mark Cendrowski directed the pilot.