Aired: 2010-2011 (FOX)
DAD: Ron Snuffkin (Tyler Labine) / Single
DAD’S JOB: Sporting Goods Clerk
KIDS: Brandon (Troy Gentile) (13), Gary (Frank Dolce)(11), and Robby Gunderson (Davis Cleveland)(8)
WHERE’S MOM?: Mom’s dead. Real Dad is in jail.
STAND-IN “MOM”: Ron Snuffkin – hired by the boys to be the parent.
This is a return to the Fr. Murphy style of “Dad for Hire” plots of the 70’s. Imagine a Malcolm in the Middle-type cast of boys without parents, who concoct a scheme to avoid foster care. They hire store clerk Ron Snuffkin, using their bio dad’s ill-gotten assets to pay Ron to pose as their dad while their REAL dad is serving 25 years in prison.
If this were a movie, Ron would be played by Jack Black. On a television budget, though, we had to settle for the quite adequate talents of Mr. Tyler Labine.
Show was funny, but the ratings weren’t there. I’d blame poor promotion and a bouncing schedule. Never really had a chance, so it was gone after six episodes.
Here was the Fox publicity machine’s take on the show:
SONS OF TUCSON is a family comedy about three brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when their real one goes to prison. What begins as a business relationship evolves into something more complex and compelling: a family unlike any we’ve ever seen. The three brothers find their dad-for-hire, RON SNUFFKIN (Tyler Labine, “Reaper”), at the local sporting good store. Ron will be forced to draw on a wide array of skills and a vast bag of tricks as he steps into the patriarch role to take care of the boys of the Gunderson family. ROBBY GUNDERSON (Davis Cleveland, “How I Met Your Mother”), 8, is a loose cannon who doesn’t respond well to authority; GARY GUNDERSON (Frank Dolce, “Doubt”), 11, is a bright and street-savvy leader who is every bit the con man his father is; and BRANDON GUNDERSON (Troy Gentile, “Entourage”), 13, is a gentle free spirit who simply goes along for the ride. MAGGIE MORALES (Natalie Martinez, “Saints & Sinners”), Robby’s second-grade teacher and the object of Ron’s affection, might just be the only stable figure in the lives of this quirky quartet. While SONS OF TUCSON is grounded in the day-to-day challenges of a single-parent home, nothing in the Gunderson household is quite what it seems. An ongoing chess match between Ron and the boys will keep both parties on their toes, as neither side can afford to give up too much power or independence.