June 27, 2012 2:06pm PT by Rakshita Saluja
Fall TV Pilot Preview: ABC's 'The Family Tools'
Just as Modern Family reveals the reassuring kinship of an unconventional family, ABC's The Family Tools is another family comedy bearing strong emotional relationships served up with a twist. Formerly titled White Van Man and a remake of the British comedy, The Family Tools is set to launch in January on ABC.
The Hollywood Reporter screened the comedy pilot ahead of its official premiere and as part of our fall preview have five things to know about the single-camera comedy before the show's midseason bow.
1. The story outlined in the pilot of Family Tools is geared toward fixing the relationship between Jack Shea (Kyle Bornheimer, Perfect Couples, and his father Tony Shea (J.K. Simmons, Law & Order). Jack is summoned back home after his father suffers a disabling heart attack, which serves to rescue Jack from a less-than-stellar career track record that most recently landed him in seminary school. Upon arrival, he's taunted by his unrelenting neighbor and initially doubted by his perpetually incensed father, but as he finds encouragement from his aunt and cousin, Jack aptly takes the reins of the family's small business, Mr. Jiffy-Fix.
2. At the very hub of the story are the ever-evolving relationships among members of a somewhat makeshift family living under one roof. Jack is a grown-up son struggling to impress his father by doing something meaningful with his life, now while enduring the overly chatty company of an oddball, budding teenage cousin (Johnny Pemberton) whose sole aim is to start a band, and a fiery aunt (Leah Remini) who is full of motherly advice.
3. Simmons isn't the only familiar face on the show. Remini (King of Queens) plays Jack's aunt, Terry, and while many scenes in the pilot revolve around the questionably skilled handymen, Remini's role centers on repairing and enhancing family relationships. Similar to her role on Queens, the former View co-host is witty, strong-willed and seemingly the only emotionally mature member in the family.
4. Brazen and brash, Mr. Jiffy-Fix assistant Daren (Edi Gathegi, X-Men: First Class) represents a uniting force within the family. His personal history remains wholly unclear through the pilot, but his street smarts and affable advances make him perplexingly charming. He's uninterested in and unimpressive at the handyman's trade, but his glib character genuinely adds to the complicated relationships in the show.
5. Penned by executive producer Bobby Bowman (Raising Hope, Family Guy), the adaptation of the U.K.-based comedy hails from Mark Gordon (Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds) and Andrea Shay (It Takes a Village, Virtual Virgin). Michael Fresco (Suburgatory, Raising Hope) directed the pilot.
So the question beckons, will The Family Tools nail ABC's comedy lineup this season? Watch a trailer for the series below and hit the comments with your thoughts.