I spent a good bit of my twenties passively watching actor Topher Grace on the FOX series That 70s Show. The show, when it was firing on all cylinders, was a fun trifle, an irreverent look at teenage Midwestern existence during the hazy, smoke-filled days of the 1970s. The actors were entertaining enough and, if they weren’t exactly reinventing the Stanislavski Method, they were at least providing some clever and sly line deliveries that in lesser hands might have resounded with a mighty thud. And then there was Topher Grace.
Grace, cast as awkward son and sarcastic boyfriend Eric Forman, was a standout among a cast of standouts: Gangly and quick with a well-timed quip, Topher Grace hit the scene as an embryonic Jimmy Stewart Meets Tom Hanks Love Child and thus it was, shortly before That 70s Show surrendered the ghost, that Mr. Grace went to Hollywood with the collective buzz of an entertainment industry proclaiming him as the Next Big Thing. Some simply good movies quickly followed, along with one or two gems (Traffic and Ocean’s 11 come immediately to mind). And Hollywood, like it is known to do, lost interest in Grace and went in search of their Next Big Thing (Good luck with that, Timothee Chalamet).
It was announced today by our fellow Topher-holics The Hollywood Reporter that Mr. Grace is officially en route to the medium that gave him his start – television. The upcoming ABC television show is called Home Economics and it is the brainchild of creators John Aboud and Michael Colton. Based loosely on co-creator Michael Colton’s own life, Home Economics is a one-camera comedy about three members of the same family, each one from a very different class: One for example is of the rich, gold breathing one percent. Another is from the middle-class (essayed by Topher Grace). A third is just struggling to keep their head above water (que the theme from Good Times).
Topher Grace, who along with acting duties in the new show will also take on an executive producer credit, had this to say about his return foray into the land of television: “I never thought about doing another show until I read Michael Colton and John Aboud’s amazing script. Both the characters they created and the amazing ensemble they brought together to play them are a family I just had to be a part of.”
Joining Grace in the cast of Home Economics are fellow thespians Karla Souza (Everybody Loves Somebody), Caitlin McGee (Shades of Blue), Jimmy Tatro (The Wolf of Snow Hollow), and Sasheer Zamata (I Feel Pretty); also joining in on the fun are a bevy of newer acting voices in the form of Shiloh Bearman, JeCobi Swain, Chloe Jo Roundtree and Jordyn Curet. This passel of Young Hollywood will be playing the children of the three main characters.
ABC has given a green light for a series order for Home Economics and we can expect to see this new show in 2021. Welcome back to the world of television, Topher Grace!