You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


Show is more notable for its cast than anything coming out of their mouths.

Mike Trainor - Michael Strahan Chill - Daryl Chill Mitchell Adele - CCH Pounder Coach - Carl Weathers

Making no pretense of setting the comedic bar particularly high, “Brothers” is more notable for its cast than anything coming out of their mouths. The starting lineup includes former NFL star Michael Strahan and wheelchair-bound comic Daryl Chill Mitchell as the program’s squabbling siblings, CCH Pounder as their imperious mother and the inspired choice of Carl Weathers as their slightly daft dad. There’s actually a modicum of chemistry among that quartet. If only the laugh lines in the show’s playbook yielded an actual laugh.

Bringing only sportscasting experience from Fox’s NFL pregame show to the party, Strahan stars capably enough as Mike Trainor, who is summoned home to Houston after a pro football career to again take up residence with his folks. They own a local bar, and Mike’s celebrity will theoretically help generate traffic as the venture faces tough times.

The prodigal son’s return, however, doesn’t sit well with brother Chill (Mitchell), who resents Mike — a hostility he expresses, repeatedly, via a series of tired one-liners. Mitchell delivers them reasonably well, but other than the gag about his mom testing his paralysis by jabbing his thigh with a fork, most viewers will be able to intercept the jokes well before he delivers him. (The character was injured in a car accident; Mitchell — whose sitcom credits include “Veronica’s Closet” — was paralyzed in a 2001 motorcycle crash.)

Pounder keeps the peace as their mother Adele, and given her association with various dramas (most recently “The Shield”), dives right into this comedic part, putting that trademark glower to as much use as she can.

Everything about “Brothers” speaks to its modest ambitions, including a second episode (the two will air back to back to create a one-hour launch) in which Mike’s one-night stand yields a predictable tirade about violating “house rules” — even though he purchased said house for the family with his football-gotten gains.

It’s been awhile since a comedy has made any headway on Friday night — or for that matter, a live-action sitcom has gained any Nielsen yardage on Fox. From that perspective, this qualifies as a recession-era choice, driven as much by marketing as creative concerns: Fox clearly hopes that a modest urban audience might be available and looking for something undemanding heading into the weekend, while the football component offers obvious tie-ins and the potential for guest shots by other Fox Sports personalities.

While the idea doubtless looked good on the chalkboard, “Brothers” turns out to be all game plan, and no game.


Fox, Fri. Sept. 25, 8 pm

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Tantamount Studios and Impact Zone Prods. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers, Mitch Hurwitz, Don Reo, Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum; producers, Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, Michael Strahan, Annette Sahakian Davis; director, Ted Wass; writer, Reo;

Crew: Camera, Jim Roberson; production designer, Michael Hynes; editors, Skip Collector, Art Kellner; music, Mitchell, Shareef Islam; casting, Susan Vash, Brady Smith. Running time: 60 MIN.

Cast: Mike Trainor - Michael Strahan Chill - Daryl Chill Mitchell Adele - CCH Pounder Coach - Carl Weathers

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: 'Sesame Street' Sets

    TV News Roundup: 'Sesame Street' Sets 50th Anniversary Special

    In today’s TV news roundup, Sesame Workshop announced a premiere date for “Sesame Street’s Historic 50th Anniversary Celebration” and “Brave New World” adds Sophie McIntosh. CASTING New Zealand actress Sophie McIntosh has been cast in USA Network’s “Brave New World” series, Variety has learned exclusively. She will play the recurring role of Jane, and joins a cast [...]

  • HBO Max Adds Three Execs to

    HBO Max Adds Three Execs to Drama Team

    HBO Max is continuing its spate of executive hires. The nascent WarnerMedia streamer has now tapped Roberto Alcantara, Chika Chukudebelu and Mark Tuohy to all be vice presidents in the drama department. The announcement was made by Joey Chavez, EVP of original drama at HBO Max, to whom they will all report. Chavez and his [...]


    'Stranger Things 3' Is Most-Watched Season to Date, Netflix Says

    The Upside Down delivered upside for Netflix in the third quarter: “Stranger Things” season 3 was the most-watched season of the series to date, according to the streamer. In the first four weeks of release, “Stranger Things” season 3 was watched by 64 million member households, Netflix said in the Q3 letter to shareholders. The [...]

  • HBO Max - WarnerMedia

    HBO Max Orders LGBTQ Movement Docuseries From Scout Productions, Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti

    HBO Max has commissioned a four-part docuseries on the history of the LGBTQ+ movement. Titled “Equal,” the series will explore the true stories of leaders and activists of the movement. Each hour-long episode will feature interviews, reenactments, and never before seen footage. The series hails from Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. “We are extremely proud to [...]

  • Dead To Me

    Streaming Shows Nearly Doubled in Last Year, Boosting Los Angeles TV Production

    Television production in Los Angeles has received a major boost from streaming shows, according to a new report from the permitting organization FilmLA. The number of new digital projects nearly doubled between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 development cycles, increasing approximately 85.3% in a year. The number of digitally distributed original series in production has increased by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content