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How We Roll - What We Know So Far

The upcoming CBS sitcom "How We Roll" is already garnering attention for its oddball synopsis and surprising source of inspiration. While many shows have used popular sports like football as a backdrop for comedy and drama, such as with the CW's "All-American" and HBO's "Ballers" (2015 – 2019), this new series aims to turn its focus to a rather unexpected and underrepresented sport in the TV space — professional bowling. Making matters even more interesting, the show will draw inspiration from one of the sport's most inspiring real-life stories.

"How We Roll," which was originally going to be titled "Smallwood," will be produced by CBS Studios with the team of writer Mark Gross ("Man with a Plan," "Mike & Molly"), producer David Hollander ("Ray Donovan," "The Guardian"), and actor Brian d'Arcy James ("Hawkeye," "Spotlight") all helming the show as executive producers. The show is also set to feature several known actors from other popular TV shows and films that may excite fans, as well. Here's everything we know so far.

What is the release date of How We Roll?

CBS has currently not provided a specific airdate for the pilot episode of "How We Roll." But according to Deadline, the show is set to air midseason as part of CBS's 2021-2022 slate, meaning that it is likely that the show will start airing sometime between January and May of 2022 alongside other shows for the network like the new hit spin-off, "NCIS: Hawai'i."

However, it seems that some elements of production regarding the show are still in flux. CBS very recently made the decision to change their episode order count for the first season from 13 episodes to 11 episodes. Additionally, the show recently underwent a name change, according to Deadline, shedding its original title of "Smallwood" in favor of "How We Roll." Viewers anticipating the release of show will unfortunately have to wait longer to see how all the logistics pan out, but considering that the pilot for the show was already shot and CBS ordered it to series, the premiere seems fairly imminent.

Who is in the cast of How We Roll?

"How We Roll" is set to star comedian Pete Holmes — most widely recognized for his starring role on the hidden gem dramedy series "Crashing" – as the main character, Tom Smallwood. Holmes will be joined by Katie Lowes ("Ralph Breaks the Internet," "Zootopia"), who plays Smallwood's wife, Jen, as well as Chi McBride ("Hawaii Five-0," "I, Robot"), who will play the role of his bowling mentor Archie. 

Julie White ("Big Mouth," "Transformers") was also recently announced to be a series regular and will be taking the role of Smallwood's widowed mother Helen, a character who Deadline describes to be "frozen in time." However, viewers shouldn't expect to see her playing this role in the pilot, as an unknown guest actress filled the part instead for that episode alone. According to the show's IMDb page, Judy Kain ("The Odd Couple"), Dominic Pace ("The Mandalorian"), and Frank Gallegos ("Logan") will also be appearing in at least one episode each.

What is the plot of How We Roll?

"How We Roll" is based on the true story of Tom Smallwood, a professional bowler from Michigan who decided to pursue bowling as a career to support his family after losing his job as an assembly line worker. The series will follow Smallwood's journey from the point of him just starting out on this new chapter of his life and will presumably go on to chronicle his rise among the ranks, and his metamorphosis into modern-day professional bowling legend. In CBS's promotional description of the series, the broadcaster refers to "How We Roll" as "a story of the ultimate second chance."

It is unknown how loyal "How We Roll" will remain to the exact trajectory of the real-life Tom Smallwood's bowling career, as well as the nature of his personal life and relationships, as films and television series are often known to take creative license with properties based on true stories. However, it's relatively safe to say, based on the show's initial description, that it will be at least be following the major beats of Smallwood's life.