Hot off the news today that Fox has given a full season order to The Grinder, sources have confirmed to The Tracking Board that Fred Savage will no longer be directing LADIES NIGHT, the Paramount Pictures comedy that has Charlize Theron attached to both star and produce. Savage came on to the project in 2013, back when production was aiming for a 2014 start. Due to his commitment to The Grinder, Savage is exiting the R-rated Bridesmaids-esque pic, though the search has already begun for a new director.
Ladies Night centers on a woman who decides to move to New York after her commitment-phobic boyfriend refuses to propose. Though before she uproots, she decides to have one last night on the town with her girlfriends, which escalates into a series of wild shenanigans and comedic mishaps. Happy Endings scribe David Caspe penned the romp based on his original pitch.
Theron has been developing the project as a comedic vehicle for years, along with Beth Kono and A.J. Dix via their Denver and Delilah shingle. David Ellison and Dana Goldberg are producing for Skydance Productions. J.J. Harris will also produce, while Matt Grimm oversees for Skydance.
Savage’s career evolved from his Wonder Years start, becoming one of the most sought-after directors in TV. He’s helmed episodes of some of the biggest comedy series of the last decade, including Modern Family, Happy Endings, Party Down, 2 Broke Girls, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Most recently he directed episodes of the Yahoo! series Sin City Saints and Hulu’s Casual.
Notably, Savage’s return to acting finally came with Fox’s critically lauded comedy The Grinder, on which he plays the straight man to Rob Lowe’s eccentric TV actor. The comedy stars Lowe as famed TV lawyer Dean Sanderson (aka “The Grinder”), with Savage as his brother Stewart. After his long-running series comes to an end, Sanderson decides to move back to his hometown to work at his family’s law firm with his brother, despite lacking any formal education.
The Grinder was the second fall comedy to receive a back nine order, which will certainly lock up Savage’s schedule for the remainder of the year. Skydance is looking to shoot Ladies Night in 2016, which would conflict with Savage’s obligation to The Grinder.
Savage is repped by WME.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor