Friday, June 23, 2017

Fri-Yay: Working Class Sitcoms; Fox Fall 2017 Premiere Dates

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

The Middle

by Vincent

One of the major trends in television comedy lately has been to depict the lives of people who are generally rich, famous and much more privileged than the average viewer of said comedies. This dates back all the way back to the likes of Friends and Seinfeld, sitcoms about people who held down respectable jobs and managed to live in impressive sized apartments in the most expensive and desirable city in the world. This continued into the 2000s, with nearly every major sitcom representing people in high-class jobs living lavish lifestyles - 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, and even cable comedies such as Girls, Entourage, and Louie.

I don't mean to knock these shows - I love most of them! But it's an interesting trend, especially considering it wasn't always the case. Older sitcoms had no problems depicting rural lifestyles (Green Acres, The Andy Griffith Show, etc), or working class families (All in the Family, Roseanne) or low-wage workers (Taxi, Cheers). And there's something about sitcoms that are able to depict the lives of ordinary, everyday people and highlight how the challenges and complexities of everyday, middle class life in America. Shows like Roseanne and All in the Family were able to capture the zeitgeist by reflecting what Americans were going through every day back at them on their TV screens. And there's nothing like an ensemble show about working class misfits like Taxi or Cheers that helps you feel just a little bit more at home at your own less-than-enthralling job.

Luckily, there are signs the times are changing. There are a handful of sitcoms on the air right now that channel some of these older, working class sitcoms - The Middle does an excellent job of portraying working class family life, while Superstore has echoed Taxi or Cheers in the way it creates a makeshift family of people in a down-on-their-luck position. ABC has also officially announced a Roseanne reboot that should certainly prove interesting in our current era. It's been fun hanging with high society, but I'm ready for sitcoms to get a little more down to Earth.


Fox

Fox has set the fall 2017 premiere dates for its new and returning series. Most will launch during premiere week (Sept 25-Oct. 1), but there are a few exceptions. The Gifted, the new family adventure series, produced in association with Marvel Television, launches Monday, Oct. 2 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, following the return of Lucifer at 8:00 PM ET/PT. No word yet what will air on Monday, Sept. 25, the first night of the new TV season. New comedic drama The Orville, from creator and executive producer Seth MacFarlane and director Jon Favreau, debuts with a special two-night series premiere on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 8:00 PM ET/PT and Sunday, Sept. 17 at 8:00 PM ET/PT, immediately following NFL On Fox doubleheaders. The Orville will then make its time period premiere on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, following Gotham's Season Four return on a new night at 8:00 PM ET/PT. The new buddy comedy Ghosted, starring Craig Robinson and Adam Scott, premieres Oct. 1 at 8:30 PM ET/PT, during a Sunday night of premieres, including Bob's Burgers (7:30PM ET/PT), The Simpsons (8:00 PM ET/PT), Family Guy (9:00PM ET/PT and The Last Man on Earth (9:30PM ET/PT).

Lethal Weapon Season Two now leads off Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 26 at 8:00 PM ET/PT, followed by the season premieres of The Mick at 9:00 PM ET/PT and Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 9:30 PM ET/PT. Empire (8:00PM ET/PT) and Star (9:00 PM ET/PT) join forces on an epic night of music and drama, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 27. Friday, Sept. 29 sees the returns of Hell's Kitchen (8:00PM ET/PT) and The Exorcist (9:00 PM ET/PT).


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, April 19

The Big Bang Theory - "The Comet Polarization" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon’s comic book store experiences changes when writer Neil Gaiman puts Stuart’s store on the map. Also, Koothrappali takes credit for Penny’s astronomical discovery, and friendships are threatened.

Young Sheldon - "Gluons, Guacamole, and the Color Purple" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Sheldon is no longer academically challenged at Medford High, he audits a college class taught by Dr. John Sturgis (Wallace Shawn).

Mom - "Spaghetti Sauce and a Dumpster Fire" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy considers getting a new sponsor, Nora (Yvette Nicole Brown), after witnessing Marjorie have a major meltdown in a grocery store, and Bonnie tries her hand at being a supportive friend.

Life in Pieces - "Portrait Plagiarism Renter Scam" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Jen is offered a custom painting as payment from a hot new artist, she is thrilled until she sees the final product. Also, Sophia convinces Matt and Colleen to use her idea for a children’s book but it isn’t a new concept; Tyler and Clementine advertise their tiny house as a rental property; and John and Joan fall prey to a sleazy IRS scam.

Superstore - "Gender Reveal" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The store hosts a gender reveal party for Glenn (Mark McKinney) and his wife Jerusha (Kerri Kenney), just as Dina (Lauren Ash) is freaking out at the realities of having to deliver a baby. Meanwhile, Amy (America Ferrera) receives some unsettling news.

A.P. Bio - "Eight Pigs and a Bat" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When one of Jack's (Glenn Howerton) students anonymously reports him for canceling their much-anticipated fetal pig dissection, he sets out to find the snitch. Durbin's (Patton Oswalt) chances at Principal of the Year are in jeopardy when the superintendent visits.

Will & Grace - "The Wedding" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Will (Eric McCormack), Grace (Debra Messing), Jack (Sean Hayes), and Karen (Megan Mullally) attend the wedding of Will's ex-boyfriend, Vince (special guest star Bobby Cannavle). While Grace tries to keep Will from making a scene, Jack learns that his wedding hook-up has many strings attached.

Champions - "Grandma Dearest" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Vince begrudgingly reconnects with his mother, Gayle (Carolyn Hennesy), so Michael can complete a school project.

Nobodies - "Double Fault" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Rachel and Hugh enlist the help of Blaine Kaine to break some unfortunate news to Larry; Mark-Paul, Sam, Rachel and Hugh have a tennis double date; Larry is forced to move in with Pat after Jen kicks him out.

Atlanta - "Woods" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
It is believed wealth has something to do with Paper Boi's attitude.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 16)

Thursday, April 19

  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Catch Tina on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) - Edie appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jason Sudeikis (Son of Zorn/The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Jason stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Malin Akerman (Trophy Wife/Sin City Saints) - Malin visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Erica Ash (Survivor's Remorse) - Erica guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Shiri Appleby (Sunday Dinner/Knight & Daye) - Shiri talks about Lifetime's UnREAL on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Rory Scovel (Ground Floor) - Rory talks about I Feel Pretty on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Eddie Leavy (A.P. Bio) - Eddie talks about A.P. Bio on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Complete Fifth Season Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete First Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season

02/06 - All in the Family - Seasons 1-5
02/06 - Bosom Buddies - The Complete Series
02/06 - Women of the House - Complete 12 Episode Series
02/13 - Broad City - Season 4
02/13 - Three's Company - The Complete Series - Come and Knock on Our Door Collection
02/27 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Seventh Season
02/27 - Green Acres - The Complete Fifth Season
02/27 - Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest