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

Tuesday, October 23

The Conners - "Tangled Up in Blue'" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Darlene is in for one surprise after another when David introduces his girlfriend, Blue (Juliette Lewis), at a parent-teacher conference and mentions that Mark and Harris will be spending the weekend with them. Dan hires Becky to help out at work, but they both come to learn that she might need more help than she can offer.

The Kids Are Alright - "Timmy's Poem" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
To Peggy’s dismay, Timmy decides to enter a poetry contest to win the money he needs to repair his ventriloquist dummy. Stumped, he decides to plagiarize a poem and soon realizes he’s not the only one who passed it off as his own. Meanwhile, Mike and Lawrence continue to butt heads when Lawrence complains that there are no fresh vegetables in the family’s diet.

black-ish - "Don't You Be My Neighbor" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The neighbors decide to rent their house out for homestays and it’s causing problems for the Johnsons. Dre develops a newfound joy of calling the cops over petty neighborhood issues but begins to question the example he is setting for Jack. Meanwhile, Diane develops her first crush and Bow wants to help but lets Zoey take the lead.

Splitting Up Together - "Asking for a Friend" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Afraid that the answer could ruin his chances with Lena, Martin finds every way he can to avoid asking Lisa Apple if she is pregnant, while the potential pregnancy makes Lena more and more distant. At the same time, Lena worries Mason is changing himself to please his new girlfriend and finds parallels to her own relationship with Martin. Elsewhere, Maya tells Frank a pretend story about her “friend” who is dating someone new and pregnant to gauge what his honest reaction will be.

The Guest Book - "Finding Reality" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Vivian and Eddie leave Mt. Trace to make a fresh start in a small beachside town, where they meet Nikki and Tommy, the engaged couple running Emmy Lou's Grill and vacation home Barefeet Retreat, and Bodhi, the local handyman.

The Guest Book - "Under Cover" (TBS, 10:27PM ET/PT)
Rob and Shelley rent Barefeet Retreat to lure in their next mark, a woman named Angel who is abusing every substance that can be abused; Vivian develops a crush on Bodhi; Nikki goes into labor.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 22)

Tuesday, October 23

  • Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement/My Guide to Becoming a Rock Star) - Catch Oliver on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • David Cross (Arrested Development/Running Wilde) - David stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tyler Alvarez (Every Witch Way) - Tyler appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Scott Bakula (Murphy Brown/Eisenhower and Lutz/Gung Ho) - Scott will be on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Juliette Lewis (Camping/A Family for Joe/I Married Dora) - Juliette is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She also talks about Camping on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Brenda Song (Dads/The Suite Life on Deck/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody/100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd) - Brenda guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons/Checking In/227) - Marla appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Mike Epps (Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) - Mike is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric will be on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric talks about Speechless on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Nik Dodani (Murphy Brown/Atypical) - Nik talks about Murphy Brown on the BUILD Series at 4pm.
  • Brandon Micheal Hall (The Mayor/Search Party) - Brandon talks about God Friended Me on the BUILD Series at 5pm.
  • Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show/Here and Now/Malcolm and Eddie/Listen Up!/Reed Between the Lines) - Malcolm-Jamal talks about The Resident on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Mary McCormack (The Kids Are Alright/Welcome to the Family) - Mary talks about The Kids Are Alright on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September/October)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest