Thunder Alley

Ed Asner rumbles back onto the TV trail as a gruff grandpa with heart, but the material's pretty tame. He's a widower whose divorced daughter and three children move into his home and life. The tired concept wouldn't draw flies, but Asner's savvy may be able to pull the old chestnut out of the fire.

With:
Cast: Edward Asner, Diane Venora, Jim Beaver, Kelly Vint, Lindsay Felton, Haley Joel Osment, Ritch Brinkley, Wayne Wilderson.

Ed Asner rumbles back onto the TV trail as a gruff grandpa with heart, but the material’s pretty tame. He’s a widower whose divorced daughter and three children move into his home and life. The tired concept wouldn’t draw flies, but Asner’s savvy may be able to pull the old chestnut out of the fire.

Gil Jones (Asner, who’s got a good handle on the role), active owner of the Thunder Alley Garage, finds daughter Bobbi Turner (Diana Venora) and her kids — Claudine, 11, Jenny, 8, and son Harry, 5 — on his not-so-welcome mat. Gil and Bobbi’s generational viewpoints are dismally obvious, and their outlooks on discipline are routine.

Venora’s Bobbi pushes too hard, but the kids — Kelly Vint as Claudine, Lindsay Felton as Jenny, and Haley Joel Osment as Harry — become instant, credible individuals. Gil talking to an unhappy Claudine about how he met her grandmother, Harry becoming “invisible” are OK distractions, but the program needs more controversy than deciding how kids should be punished.

“Thunder Alley’s” a pleasantly average half-hour, and director Barnet Kellman handles the mild material well. But what it boils down to is a sitcom with heart and Asner. Maybe it’s enough.

Thunder Alley

(Wed. (9), 8:30-9 p.m., ABC)

Production: Taped at Walt Disney Studios by Wind Grass Prods., Wind Dancer Production Group and Touchstone TV. Executive producers/writers, Carmen Finestra, David McFadzean, Matt Williams; producers, Gayle S. Maffeo, Tim Doyle; director, Barnet Kellman.

Crew: Music, Howard Pearl; production designer, David Sackeroff.

Cast: Cast: Edward Asner, Diane Venora, Jim Beaver, Kelly Vint, Lindsay Felton, Haley Joel Osment, Ritch Brinkley, Wayne Wilderson.

More TV

  • NANTUCKET, MA - JUNE 23: (L-R)

    How Long Will TV and Film's Boom Market for Female Stories Last?

    Ed Asner rumbles back onto the TV trail as a gruff grandpa with heart, but the material’s pretty tame. He’s a widower whose divorced daughter and three children move into his home and life. The tired concept wouldn’t draw flies, but Asner’s savvy may be able to pull the old chestnut out of the fire. […]

  • Actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie

    'Game of Thrones' Stars Rose Leslie and Kit Harington Married in Scotland

    Ed Asner rumbles back onto the TV trail as a gruff grandpa with heart, but the material’s pretty tame. He’s a widower whose divorced daughter and three children move into his home and life. The tired concept wouldn’t draw flies, but Asner’s savvy may be able to pull the old chestnut out of the fire. […]

  • Seth Rogen Says He Rejected Paul

    Seth Rogen Says He Rejected Paul Ryan's Request for a Photo

    Ed Asner rumbles back onto the TV trail as a gruff grandpa with heart, but the material’s pretty tame. He’s a widower whose divorced daughter and three children move into his home and life. The tired concept wouldn’t draw flies, but Asner’s savvy may be able to pull the old chestnut out of the fire. […]

  • ROSEANNE - "Netflix & Pill" -

    'Roseanne': What's Next for ABC's Spinoff

    Ed Asner rumbles back onto the TV trail as a gruff grandpa with heart, but the material’s pretty tame. He’s a widower whose divorced daughter and three children move into his home and life. The tired concept wouldn’t draw flies, but Asner’s savvy may be able to pull the old chestnut out of the fire. […]

  • ROSEANNE - "Netflix & Pill" -

    The 'Roseanne' Spinoff Can't Escape Roseanne (Column)

    Ed Asner rumbles back onto the TV trail as a gruff grandpa with heart, but the material’s pretty tame. He’s a widower whose divorced daughter and three children move into his home and life. The tired concept wouldn’t draw flies, but Asner’s savvy may be able to pull the old chestnut out of the fire. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content