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12 Best Shows Like Home Economics That Fans Should Watch Next

Economic uncertainty is rarely a main topic for sitoms, but ABC's "Home Economics" tackles the precarious position of many elder millennials head-on. The three Hayworth siblings were raised middle class in northern California, but as adults their lives have taken markedly different turns. Eldest son Tom (Topher Grace, who also executive produces) is a novelist who lives with his wife (Karla Souza) and kids in the Sacramento suburbs, but his middle-class life threatens to crumble after his most recent novel turns out to be a commercial failure. Recently unemployed middle child Sarah (Caitlin McGee) is a caricature of a liberal vegan do-gooder, living with her wife (Sasheer Zamata) and two kids in a cramped Oakland apartment. And baby brother Connor (Jimmy Tatro) is a lunkheaded finance bro raising his daughter in an ultra-modern mansion previously owned by Matt Damon with views of the Golden Gate Bridge from his front door.

The show, created by writers Michael Colton and John Aboud, is as much about adult siblings learning to be a family once again after years spent apart as it is about their individual financial issues. Tom, Sarah, and Colton fall back into their childhood dynamics and conflicts whenever they get together; the biggest laughs in any given episode often come from Souza and Zamata's deadpan reactions to the family of lunatics they have married into. At the end of the day, family (almost) always trumps money, and their shared trials bring the Hayworths closer together. Let's take a look at some other shows that "Home Economics" fans will love.

Abbott Elementary

One of the surprise hits of 2022, Emmy winner "Abbott Elementary" shares not just a network and airdate with "Home Economics" but a warm heart and goofy sense of humor. The mockumentary series follows the beleaguered educators of the eponymous Philadelphia grade school as they work to solve the countless major and minor crises teachers face every single day, from burnout and budget cuts to blackouts and Baltimore pizza. At the center of it all is series creator Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues, a second grade teacher whose idealism and earnestness often run up against the harsh realities of public education in the 21st century.

Surrounding Brunson is one of the best ensembles on television today, with Sheryl Lee Ralph and Lisa Ann Walter as a pair of seen-it-all veterans, and Chris Perfetti as a similarly overeager and deeply uncool new teacher. Comedian Janelle James steals every scene she's in as Abbott's wildly unqualified principal, while Tyler James Williams ("Everybody Loves Chris") gives the best camera reactions this side of Jim Halpert. Together they have breathed new life not just into the mockumentary format but into the weekly network sitcom, crafting something that is both of the moment and timeless.

American Houswife

Originally titled "The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport," ABC premiered the renamed "American Housewife" in 2016 and ran the show for five seasons. Katy Mixon ("Eastbound and Down") stars as Katie, a no-nonsense middle-class mom whose family relocates to the tony suburb of Westport, Connecticut so her neurodivergent daughter (Julia Butters) can attend a better school. At odds with the other Westport mothers who all seem so thin and rich and perfect, Katie and her mild-mannered husband Greg (Diedrich Bader) work to stake a claim for themselves and their children in this blue-blooded town.

Like "Home Economics," the show mines a lot of humor from the distance between Katie and her monied neighbors, and the way her older children (Daniel DiMaggio and Meg Donnelly) can't help but be seduced by the yachts-and-Roth-IRAs lifestyle of their peers. The show tried to be an economic equal defender, though, taking so many potshots at the nearby lower-income town of Norwalk that Norwalk's real-life citizens complained to ABC after the first season. The series perhaps overstayed its welcome — the shortened fifth season was beset with cast departures and behind-the-scenes drama — but Mixon remains a star throughout, with a live-wire energy that recalls her "Mike & Molly" big sister Melissa McCarthy.

Bluff City Law

Before she was the oft-overlooked middle Hayworth child Sarah, Caitlin McGee was the prodigal daughter coming home in the short-lived 2019 NBC legal drama "Bluff City Law." After years spent working as a ruthless corporate attorney, the death of her mother reunites Sydney Strait (McGee) with her father Elijah (Jimmy Smits), a legendary Memphis civil rights lawyer. Despite her better judgment, Sydney joins Elijah in his shabby downtown office to fight for the little guy, rediscover her passion for the law, and rebuild her long-broken relationship with her father.

Created by writer Dean Georgaris ("The Brave") and producer Michael Aguilar ("Penny Dreadful"), this show is a mix of old and new, with "ripped from the headlines" cases — a shooting at a white nationalist protest, a Black athlete being barred from competition due to his hair — sitting alongside courtroom material that wouldn't have been out of place in a 1990s David E. Kelley series or John Grisham adaptation. The Memphis setting certainly recalls Grisham's work, and the show earned a lot of goodwill by actually filming in the city, rather than nearby hubs Atlanta or New Orleans. No matter how creaky the proceedings might have been at times, it was held upright by the consistently great work from McGee and Smits as an odd couple father-daughter pair who are more alike than they'd care to admit.

Close Enough

Before creating "Home Economics," Michael Colton and John Aboud were writers on the HBO Max adult animated series "Close Enough," a show whose beginnings and untimely end were at the mercy of corporate forces beyond its control. Created by J.G. Quintel (Cartoon Network's "Regular Show"), Sean Szeles, and Calvin Wong, "Close Enough" was originally set to air in 2018 as part of TBS' late night animation lineup, but a series of delays, controversies, and just plain "bad luck" (in the words of the creators of fellow TBS animated series "Final Space"), the show was set adrift without a home for nearly two years, finally premiering on HBO Max in 2020.

Like "Regular Show," "Close Enough" was not afraid to go into surreal, often grotesque flights of fancy, but in its view of cash-strapped millennials trying their best to raise a young daughter, it actually shares quite a bit of DNA with "Home Economics." Quintel and Gabrielle Walsh play Josh and Emily, a married couple who live with their daughter Candice in a home shared by divorced couple Alex (Jason Mantzoukas) and Bridgitte (Kimiko Glenn). "Close Enough" ran for 24 episodes across three seasons before being canceled by the streaming service in the wake of Warner Bros.' purchase by Discovery in July 2022. The following month, it was one of several shows that were scrubbed from HBO Max entirely.

Grand Crew

While you might expect a show like "Home Economics," which features wealthy characters living in northern California, to have its share of wine drinking, it turns out that 2021's official wine-based sitcom lives across the state and across the dial from the Hayworths. NBC's "Grand Crew" (even the title is a wine pun) follows a group of upwardly mobile Angelenos led by siblings Nicky (Nicole Byer) and Noah (Echo Kellum) as they deal with life and love from the booth of a cozy wine bar.

The pilot episode features a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance by Sasheer Zamata, whose role as the wine bar's owner, along with fellow "SNL" alum Garrett Morris as the show's narrator, did not make the leap to Episode 2. While the early episodes center on the romantic comedy-obsessed Noah and the varying shades of Black masculinity, the show quickly found its groove as a true ensemble piece, with a cast that includes Justin Cunningham and Aaron Jennings as Noah's old college buddies, comedian Carl Tart as Noah and Nicky's friend from childhood, and Grasie Mercedes as the new member of the crew. Creator Phil Augusta Jackson and executive producer Dan Goor are both alumni of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," and have carried over the same screwball pace and visual humor that made that series an all-time classic.

The Guest Book

Greg Garcia's 2017 semi-anthology series "The Guest Book" uses the eponymous journal from a mountain rental cabin to tell all sorts of wild stories from week to week. The format allows for a new set of main characters in every episode, featuring guest stars like Jenna Fischer, Danny Pudi, and Pete Davidson, whose adventures often intersect with the local townsfolk like Garrett Dillahunt's Dr. Brown and Carly Jibson as cheerful stripper Vivian. Garcia likes to work with his friends, and many of the regular characters are played by familiar faces from his previous series "My Name Is Earl," "Raising Hope," and "The Millers," including Dillahunt, Margo Martindale, and Eddie Steeples as food delivery man Eddie.

Season 2 switches locales, with Vivian and Eddie leaving the mountains for a sunny beach town that just so happens to have a popular vacation rental home. "Home Economics" star Jimmy Tatro joins the cast as beach bum and sometime-handyman Bodhi, whose adventures often intersect with the beach's guests. Tatro is just as good as a lovable dope on the low end of the economic spectrum as he is as a lovable dope on the high end, whether he's putting up "missing" signs for Eddie that feature a cubist interpretation of his face instead of a photo, or inadvertently kidnapping a baby with Vivian.

How I Met Your Mother

Even on a show like "Home Economics" whose premise is grounded in real life concerns, there is a strain of fantasy wish fulfillment when it comes to money. Connor's immaturity is borne out by what he spends his wealth on, from his needlessly large Matt Damon estate to planning a space flight in order to avoid dealing with a recent breakup. In his blithe approach to everyday problems, he resembles a less boorish Barney Stinson, the breakout character on CBS' long-running sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." Unencumbered by a serious relationship or financial difficulty (thanks to a never-explained high-paying office job), Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) is free to pursue his ridiculous passions, which mostly boil down to "Star Wars," business suits, and tricking women into sleeping with him.

"How I Met Your Mother" also resembles "Home Economics" in its use of a framing device. Just as Tom narrates each episode from the vantage point of a book he's secretly writing about his family, "HIMYM" is a nine-season story told by hopeless romantic Ted (Josh Radnor) in the distant future (where he is voiced by the late Bob Saget) to his teenage children. The show in many ways outgrew its framing device by the final season, which became a problem for the much-maligned series finale. Both of "Home Economics'" season finales thus far have focused on the fate of Tom's novel (also called "Home Economics"), but it remains to be seen if the show will eventually move past this literary conceit.

Life in Pieces

Like "Home Economics," the 2015 CBS sitcom "Life in Pieces" follows the intertwining lives of the three adult siblings in the Short family: Heather (Betsy Brandt), Matt (Thomas Sadowski), Greg (Colin Hanks), their spouses and children, and their parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest). And like "Home Economics," the show employs a literary device, but rather than Tom narrating each episode as if it were a chapter in his novel, "Life in Pieces" breaks itself up into four short stories per episode, each focusing on a different branch of the Short family tree. Sometimes the stories are connected by plot, but more often by theme, as when a hospital visit becomes an impromptu date night for new parents Greg and Jen (Zoe Lister-Jones), while Short patriarch John (Brolin) tries to make up for all he missed while the kids were growing up by being an overly supportive dad to them now.

Creator Justin Adler got his start as a staff writer on "Futurama," and every so often a hint of that show's deadpan absurdity peeks through, as when Jen complains about their emergency room wait while an elderly man has a heart attack in the background. For the most part, though, "Life in Pieces" is a sincere family comedy, focusing on both the joy and the pain that one generation leaves for another. The series ran for four seasons until it was canceled by CBS in 2019.

Roseanne/The Conners

Working-class sitcoms have existed since the very beginning of television, from "The Honeymooners" to "Sanford and Son," but after a decade of comfortable upper middle-class hits like "The Cosby Show" and "Silver Spoons," 1988's "Roseanne" was a breath of fresh air. Based on the stand-up comedy of Roseanne Barr, the show followed the lives of Roseanne and Dan Conner (Barr and John Goodman), a factory worker and construction contractor living in a small northern Illinois town with their three children. The show was an immediate smash hit and magnet for controversy, not just for its risqué humor and the off-camera antics of its star, but for its willingness to take itself seriously and tackle difficult subjects like sexual harassment, spousal abuse, and racism.

In 2018 ABC revived the show, 21 years after its final episode, placing Roseanne, Dan, their children, and now their grandchildren in a very different small-town America than where they lived in the '80s and '90s. After a series of racially charged tweets, however, Barr was fired and ABC briefly canceled the show before reviving it yet again as "The Conners," in which Dan and the rest of the family move on after Roseanne dies offscreen from an opioid overdose. Enjoying a multi-season run of its own, "The Conners" holds down ABC's Wednesday night lineup alongside "Home Economics" and "Abbott Elementary."

Single Parents

Can a parent be too much of a parent? That's the question posed by "Single Parents," the 2018 ABC series from "New Girl" creator Elizabeth Meriwether and writer/producer J.J. Philbin. When high-strung single dad Will ("Saturday Night Live" alum Taran Killam) arrives with his young daughter at a new school, a crew of fellow single parents (Leighton Meester, Kimrie Lewis, Jake Choi, and Brad Garrett) immediately spot that he's in desperate need of non-parenting time. Inviting him to join the group, they teach Will how to be a grown-up again and to rediscover the adult pleasures of drinking, dating, and staying up past 10pm.

The setup bears more than a little resemblance to "New Girl," with Killam's often painful-to-watch sincerity in place of Zooey Deschanel's "adorkable" quirkiness, and with two handfuls of sassy child actors thrown in. Like that show, though, "Single Parents" does best when it lets its characters ease off on their respective schtick (such as Garrett's overbearing conservative fat cat) and just be real and funny with one another. Garrett's Season 1 romance with Lewis' straight-talking sommelier is surprisingly sweet, and Killam and Meester make a strong platonic duo. The series ran for two seasons on ABC before getting axed in 2020.

That '70s Show

20 years before he was struggling novelist and father of three Ted Hayworth on "Home Economics," Topher Grace was Wisconsin everyteen Eric Forman on Fox's "That '70s Show." Co-created by "Saturday Night Live" and "Third Rock from the Sun" writers Bonnie and Terry Turner, the show tapped into the same Gen X/Young Boomer nostalgia that made "Dazed and Confused" a hit and resulted in commercials where young people debate which 1960s television characters were hotter. Eric is a high schooler with little in the way of ambition; he just wants to hang out with his girlfriend (Laura Prepon), get high with his friends (Danny Masterson, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Wilmer Valderrama), and tool around his upper Midwest town while dodging the wrath of his hard-nosed father (Kurtwood Smith, who made the word "dumbass" into a catchphrase).

Like "MASH" and the Korean War, the show existed in a perpetual "late '70s" that lasted far longer than the real life era, running for eight seasons and 200 episodes; Grace left at the end of Season 7, with Kutcher not far behind, though both would return for the final episode. The Turners tried to get lightning to strike twice with the 2002 spinoff/sequel "That '80s Show" (featuring a pre-"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" Glenn Howerton), but it only lasted half a season. In 2021, Netflix announced that it was returning to Point Place, Wisconsin with a revival series titled "That '90s Show," in which Smith and Debra Jo Rupp would reprise their roles as Eric's parents.

This Is Us

After laughing with the Hayworths, why not go cry with the Piersons? NBC's hit drama series "This Is Us" isn't the funniest show on this list by any means, but it is perhaps the most sincere, and that firm belief in the importance of family above all else is something it shares with "Home Economics." Creator Dan Fogelman sets us off on a time-hopping journey in the first episode, centered around the three Pierson siblings: twins Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) and adopted brother Randall (Sterling K. Brown). We see them as adults in present day, as well as when they were children growing up in the 1980s and '90s via a parallel storyline about their parents Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and the painful circumstances surrounding Jack's death.

"Home Economics" has had limited flashbacks to the Hayworths as children, mostly in the form of old videos, and their parents (Phil Reeves and Nora Dunn) are supporting players at best, but there is a melancholy that connects both shows, around the way one's life never quite turns out the way it was intended, the way that reconnecting with family can bring up painful truths about how you were raised. Both sets of siblings carry the wounds of the past with them, even if on "Home Economics" those wounds take the form of a large stick stolen from a national park in 1995.