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, June 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The Tesla Recoil" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard and Wolowitz are furious after they learn Sheldon went to work with the military behind their backs. Also, while Bernadette is on bed rest, she asks Raj to do some digging when she suspects Ruchi is trying to steal her job.

Young Sheldon - "Killer Asteroids, Oklahoma, and a Frizzy Hair Machine" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A disappointing loss at the science fair sends Sheldon’s life in a new direction. Jason Alexander guest stars as Sheldon’s drama teacher, Mr. Lundy.

Mom - "Esta Loca and a Little Klingon" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy and Bonnie help Jill get sober again, and Christy’s boyfriend, Patrick (Steven Weber), is less than understanding when it ruins his birthday weekend.

Life in Pieces - "Meal Potty Cart Middle" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Tim and Heather go to an expensive dinner to celebrate their anniversary, they are determined to finish every bite of their pricey 20-course meal. Also, Jen and Greg try to quickly potty-train Lark before her first day of preschool; Tyler gets jealous of the attention Clementine is getting at work; and Matt and Samantha team up for a “Middle Child Day” and go to a trapeze school. Emmy Award-winning food expert Padma Lakshmi guest stars as Stephanie, Heather and Tim’s server at an upscale restaurant.

Marlon - "Sisters" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Marlon’s (Marlon Wayans) sisters come to town, he convinces Ashley (Essence Atkins) to pretend they are still married to keep them from being disappointed. As the weekend goes on, the charade gets harder to keep up and Marlon finally confronts them in an epic confession. After receiving a psychic reading from Lenora (guest star Sherri Shepherd), Stevie (Diallo Riddle) tries to woo Yvette (Bresha Webb) as he thinks they are destined to be together.

Marlon - "Divorce Counseling" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Marlon (Marlon Wayans) and Ashley (Essence Atkins) go to see Kamala Shabazz (Kim Wayans), a strong-willed relationship therapist, to help stabilize their rocky divorce. When Marlon exposes Kamala as a fraud, he experiences a breakthrough and realizes he should change his ways. Stevie (Diallo Riddle) gives Yvette (Bresha Webb) an intense massage.

American Woman - "The Party" (Paramount Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Desperate to connect with her role model, Lori, Kathleen drags Bonnie and Diana to a party in the hills; when Diana tries to cut loose, things get out of hand; Bonnie finds herself in an exciting new position.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Thursday, June 21

  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Catch Drew on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Cameron Esposito (Take My Wife) - Cameron visits The Opposition with Jordan Klepper at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) - Cynthia chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Craig T. Nelson (Coach) - Craig drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men/Jenny) - Jenny is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hearts Afire) - Billy Bob appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace/Ned & Stacey) - Debra talks about the launch of The Maxx You Project on People Now at 12pm.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced/Living with Fran) - Fran talks about Hotel Transylvania 3 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris talks about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
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