Sunday 2 December

Man Of The House Sunday 2 December, 9.40pm

TV2 has not one but two network premieres for you this Sunday night, with blockbuster comedy Man Of The House following High School Musical 2.

In Man Of The House, a by-the-book Texas Ranger Roland Sharp (Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones) tracks down a key informant with the help of an ex-con-turned-preacher Percy Stevens (Cedric The Entertainer). But when the informant is ‘taken out’, the hard-headed Sharp is assigned to protect the only witnesses to the crime – a group of University of Texas cheerleaders – by going undercover and moving in with the five uncontrollable college co-eds.
Now this guy who’s used to ducking bullets and confronting heavily armed drug dealers is up to his elbows in pom-poms!

Veteran producer Steven Reuther, who has guided dozens of movies to the big screen during a stellar career (including four prior projects with Tommy Lee Jones), says, “Man Of The House is a real simple premise and great idea, something I hadn’t seen before,” Reuther remarks. “I was in the mood to do something light and comedic and fun. This idea struck me as hysterical – a Texas Ranger is charged with taking care of five cheerleaders because they’ve seen a murder. And along the way he has to deal with a shady preacher. It’s a total fish-out-of-water story and a lot of fun all the way through.”

The heart of the comedy is a toughened law-man stepping into a completely alien world – that of college cheerleaders all living together in one house. “All you have to do is visualise someone like Tommy Lee Jones having to deal with five young, scantily-clad women in a confined space and you get it,” says actress Kelli Garner, who plays one of the cheerleaders.

Director Stephen Herek, best known for the hit big-screen comedies 101 Dalmatians and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, also found the juxtaposition of a total man’s man being thrown into an oestrogen-charged environment to be a natural comedy premise. But there was another element that attracted him, he says. “The story also examines the idea of daughters and fathers and family relationships. So, although he’s thrown into the worst place he could possibly be in, as the story progresses, we watch a man who has grown crusty over the years rediscover his heart – which transforms his life.”

Jones admits that comedy is still a relatively untapped arena for him. “I didn’t do a lot of comedy for the first 20 years of my acting life,” he says. “I learned a great deal about it from Will Smith (his co-star) on Men In Black. You learn your lines and hit your marks… and stay relaxed. Will said something about that.”

See Tommy Lee Jones as the ultimate fish-out-of-water in Man Of The House, this Sunday 2 December at 9.40pm on TV2.

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