25 April 2013 4:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Poor Kyle Bornheimer. He’s rifled through failed sitcoms on so many different networks he’s actually begun to recycle. So after his last ABC stop in “Romantically Challenged,” he’s back in “Family Tools,” a series so uninspired even the network appears pretty blase about it, starting with its late-spring, not-even-after-”Modern Family” timeslot. Adapted from a U.K. series, it’s a familiar story about a screw-up son who takes over the family business, enduring the usual wacky relatives, crazy clients and little indignities. Oh, and that handyman business he’s inherited? Do they moonlight tinkering on scripts?

Actually, that’s not an entirely fair criticism. Produced by “That ’70s Show” alums, “Tools” isn’t completely broken, from an execution standpoint, and the cast — including J.K. Simmons as the gruff dad and Leah Remini as the aunt who sneakily lures the protagonist back home — is superior to the material. »


- Brian Lowry

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