Why Cranky Old Dads Rule Fall TV

Fall TV
"Dads" Season 1
Martin Mull, Giovanni Ribisi, Seth Green, and Peter Riegert in "Dads" on Fox.

"Get off my lawn, whippersnappers!" said crotchety dads everywhere. Usually this attitude isn't embraced, but times, they are a-changing … at least on TV. It's the year of the cranky old dads this fall, with new comedies that not only tolerate ornery pops, but also celebrate them.

The stars of these sitcoms stopped by "The Yo Show" to chat about their upcoming roles and what makes these TV fathers special.

Seth Green and Peter Riegert, who play a father-son duo at odds on Fox's new contentious comedy "Dads" (executive produced by "Family Guy's" Seth MacFarlane), dished on why cranky old dads make for stellar comedy, and it's all about defying the expected. 

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"You have this expectation of a dad to be this stoic and incredibly competent patriarch that governs the entire family and has sort of created whatever situation allows everyone to live their life. When,in fact, dads are just dudes. They're just grown-up teenage dudes," Green said, adding, "It's funny to see the cracks behind that façade."

Another sitcom showcasing the awesome power of a cantankerous dad is ABC's "Back in the Game," starring James Caan and Maggie Lawson. Caan plays opinionated, crass, alcoholic ex-athlete TerrySr. — while Lawson plays his do-gooder daughter, who brings on her hot-tempered dad to help coach a baseball team of misfit kids. 

[Photos: It's All in the Family for These Related Stars]

But whatever you do, don't call this show a "Bad News Bears" remake. That was Caan's first impression, too, but when he was told the difference between the comedy and iconic '70s film, he got onboard. 

So what's the difference? "It's not about his team getting better," Caan shared. "These kids will never get better. They're the biggest bunch of misfits, the funniest kids you've ever met. I mean, great kids."

From the looks of things, though, the real misfit onscreen is none other than Caan's character, who takes no hesitation in calling one of the mini ballplayers fat. "Playing baseball doesn't make you a wonderful person," Caan adds. 

Rounding out the list of eccentric daddies is George Segal of ABC's new '80s-based sitcom "The Goldbergs." But he's more Casanova than cranky as the grandfather to a large clan. 

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"I wanted to be on it because it was really funny. And also, it gets you here," Segal said, gesturing to his heart. "That was the most surprising thing that when I watched the pilot finally … I was crying at the end, plus laughing out loud."

"Dads" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox; "The Goldbergs" premieres Tuesday, 9/24 at 9 p.m. on ABC; "Back in the Game" premieres Wednesday, 9/25 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. 

Check out photos from "Dads":