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).


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 20

The Big Bang Theory - "The Brain Bowl Incubation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After a successful experiment combining their genes, Sheldon will stop at nothing to convince Amy they should procreate. Also, Koothrappali is embarrassed to tell the gang what the new woman he’s dating does for a living.

Life in Pieces - "Awkward Bra Automated Ordained" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dinner gets awkward for Jen and Matt when they find themselves alone without Greg and Colleen. Also, Lark accidentally locks out Greg and Jen from the house, prompting Greg to install a complicated home automation system; Heather and Tim try to sneak wine into an ice skating show to get out of paying at the venue; and John and Joan agree to an impromptu wedding after Colleen mentions that she’s an ordained minister.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 17)

Thursday, July 20

  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - Catch T.J on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Abby Elliott (Odd Mom Out) - Abby appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Issa Rae (Insecure) - Issa stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Kate Micucci (Raising Hope/The Big Bang Theory) - Kate is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World) - Jada drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered) - Regina guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Linney (The Big C) - Laura talks about Netflix's The Big C on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Steve Guttenberg (Ballers) - Steve talks about HBO's Ballers on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Madison Iseman (Still the King) - Madison talks about CMT's Still the King on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.