In January, CBS ordered a comedy pilot to be produced by 30 Rock team Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. The new series called The Kicker will follow the antics of an NFL kicker who has been suspended by the NFL after writing an unapologetic critique of his own sport. The kicker, not sure what to do with himself following his suspension, in turn drives his friends and family crazy.
While Fey has not been in television herself since 30 Rock came to an end, she has been busy in both feature films as well as producing comedies. She has her own production company called Little Stranger. Fey and Carlock have been working on several series together as a team, including the Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which was successful enough to be renewed for a second season.
#Kicker, a multi-camera comedy, is being written by Jack Burditt. While you may not know his name, you have certainly heard of his work. Burditt’s previous sitcom work includes Just Shoot Me, Frasier, and 30 Rock, as well as being the mastermind behind the ABC comedy Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen.
So far, CBS has announced three of the primary cast members, including the lead role of Daryl Thorkelson. Cast in the lead role as the kicker himself is Geoff Stults. Stults, in addition to his acting history, actually was a professional wide receiver for the European football league, so he should be able to pull off what it is like to be a football player pretty believably, though he undoubtedly was less of a troublemaker when he played the sport. Among his acting credits, Stults has done a variety of television, including October Road, Happy Town, and 7th Heaven, which he was on for several years. Stults is a comedy veteran and is an excellent choice for the lead.
Acting across from Stults is the incomparable David Spade. Spade has done so many successful comedies through the years that the fact that he agreed to do the pilot for @Kicker is a big deal. Spade will be playing Russ Thorkelson, Daryl’s brother and sports agent. Spade’s character, described by Deadline, spends “most of his time doing damage control while Daryl says something else controversial. Though he’s eternally stressed, Russ loves his brother more than anything for giving him a career opportunity in the sports world.” Spade is best-known as playing bratty comedic characters, getting his big exposure through his stint on Saturday Night Live. His most recent successful sitcom was Rules of Engagement, which ended in 2013. Since then, he has mostly just been doing guest appearances, including, most recently, a guest appearance on former co-star Patrick Warburton’s new comedy Crowded.
Also announced to be joining the show is J.B. Smoove, who is best-known for his work on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Smoove had co-starred on the sitcom The Millers before it was canceled by CBS four episodes into its second season. Smoove is set to play Daryl’s employee, “the totally lovable” Gil. Additionally, Joanna Garcia Swisher will play Bambi, Daryl’s “intelligent and patient wife and a physical therapist to pro athletes.”
It seems like CBS is still accumulating its cast members before it can film the pilot, which will most likely be released in September 2016, as part of the fall series premiere lineup. So far, it seems like the cast is well-rounded and full of so many comedy veterans that #Kicker will not be short on humor. While the premise had at first seemed like it may not have much to go on for many episodes, since the characters all revolve around the world of sports, we should not be short on material. But we will have to wait to see if @Kicker has what it takes to become a full series.