What's in a name? The story of NBC's upcoming comedy series, now called 'Growing Up Fisher,' is a tumultuous one.
The pilot was titled 'The Family Guide' and it starred Parker Posey and J. K. Simmons. NBC loved it and ordered it to series... despite the fact that Simmons was still roped into another series, at the time. Then, luckily, Simmons' schedule opened up (unfortunately for him, at the cost of his series 'Family Tools' being cancelled). But as soon as Simmons became free, Posey exited the project.
Parker Posey, whose recent television credits include 'The Good Wife' and 'Louie,' played the female lead in the pilot for 'The Family Guide,' however she left the series due to reasons undisclosed. Two weeks later, we reported that Jenna Elfman was in negotiations to take over Posey's role in the upcoming series.
'The Family Guide,' created by D. J. Nash, is about a son who idolizes his blind father (to be played by J. K. Simmons); Posey played the character's mother, noted as having a "newfound adolesence." That role is now reportedly being played by Elfman. And now, about two weeks after that, The Hollywood Reporter has announced that 'The Family Guide' will henceforth be known as 'Growing Up Fisher.' Will we see any more changes before this project arrives on our television screens?
'Growing Up Fisher' is being executive produced by Jason Bateman, the star of 'Arrested Development,' who will also provide narration for the series. The official description for the series is as follows:
"It's not every family that's brought closer together by divorce, but then again, the Fishers aren't exactly typical. Take Mel Fisher (J.K. Simmons), for example. Whether it's chopping down trees, showing his daughter how to drive or playing football with his son, he's never let the fact that he's blind slow him down. Then there's Joyce Fisher [played in the pilot by Parker Posey, in negotiations to star Jenna Elfman], possibly the only mom in Pasadena to smoke a pipe. For her, divorce is like a second coming of age, a chance to be the teen she never was. Just ask '80s-obsessed teenage daughter Katie (Ava Deluca-Verley), whose clothes Joyce is always borrowing (that is, when she's not tagging along with Katie to the mall). At the center of all this is Henry (Eli Baker), the Fisher's 11-year old son. Having always been his dad's eyes, ears and wingman, Henry's less than thrilled when Mel shows up with Elvis, a guide dog… which is also how Henry learns about the pending divorce. Awkward. While reluctant to the changes this "big ball of fur" would bring, it's through the adult Henry's voice-over (Jason Bateman) that we find out his parent's split would "allow all of us to finally discover…who we needed to be." The half-hour comedy is executive produced by DJ Nash (Up All Night, Guys with Kids), Bateman and Jim Garavente."