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, November 23

The Big Bang Theory - "The Holiday Summation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon and Amy visit Leonard and Penny for the first time since the holidays and share details about their terrible trip to Texas. Laurie Metcalf returns as Sheldon’s mother, Mary.

Young Sheldon - "A Solar Calculator, A Game Ball, and A Cheerleader's Bosom" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sheldon struggles with newfound popularity after utilizing statistics to help the football team.

Mom - "Fancy Crackers and Giant Women" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie suffers withdrawal after giving up cable TV to help Christy pay for her law school applications, and the women rally around Jill after she has a breakdown in her favorite department store.

Life in Pieces - "Testosterone Martyr Baked Knife" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Heather, Clementine and Jen offer to save Joan from the stress of preparing the Thanksgiving meal, the free time leaves Joan even more frazzled. Also, Greg has a boost of self-confidence after learning he has high levels of testosterone; Samantha keeps a secret from her family during Thanksgiving dinner; and John is determined to continue the tradition of using his old, unsafe knife to carve the turkey.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 20)

Thursday, November 23

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Watch Tracy on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul is a musical guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tig Notaro (One Mississippi) - Tig is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Stephanie appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kaitlin Olson (The Mick/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) - Kaitlin chats on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna is a guest on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Jussie Smollet (On Our Own) - Jussie appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/One Day at a Time) - Valerie reveals her favorite, good-for-you dessert she swears by on a repeat of The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.