Friday, August 18, 2017

Fri-Yay: Sitcom Reboots; ABC and CBS Set Fall Preview Specials

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!

Fuller House

by Vincent

It's no secret that networks have gotten into a little bit of "remake frenzy" over the past couple of years. From Girl Meets World to Fuller House to One Day at a Time to the upcoming relaunches of Will & Grace and Roseanne, networks seem desperate to recapture the hits of yesterday rather than coming up with...well, new hits. Granted, maybe that's not totally fair - there are plenty of beloved modern sitcoms that have found audiences, particularly now that streaming services have entered the mix. And yet, networks currently seem obsessed with the past. Business-wise, it makes sense - a service like Netflix is inviting tons of potential new subscribers by bringing back past favorites with built in fanbases like Full House and Gilmore Girls, and network television would be lucky if even half of the audiences of hits like Will & Grace and Roseanne returned to their reboots. (Of course, that was before alternatives like DVR and streaming services effected ratings, but I digress...). But are these relaunches worth your time? Do they actually have potential, or are they just desperate attempts to relive the past?

The answer is a bit of a mixed bag. Of all of the relaunches, the most successful creatively has been, by far, One Day at a Time. Not coincidentally, One Day at a Time is the remake that is least like its original series - the cast and characters are entirely new, and the only elements that remain are the show's basic structure (a divorced mom raising her kids) and the theme song (which has been given a Cuban flair). Other than that, though, the series is very different, following a Cuban-American family through issues like sexuality, immigration, and post-traumatic stress disorder. One Day at a Time may be a remake, but it feels wholly original, while still retaining the spirit of classic Norman Lear sitcoms.

The other remakes, on the other hand, feel a little bit more like desperate attempts to relive the past. Girl Meets World generally did well as a modern Disney Channel sitcom, but fans expecting it to be a continuation of Boy Meets World may have been disappointed. Fuller House likely appeals quite well to Full House fans, but there's not much else beyond "Full House continued" to make it appealing to anyone else. And while the jury is still out on Will & Grace and Roseanne, it'll be an uphill battle for 15 and 25 (respectively) year old shows to seem relevant in today's television landscape. It's fine if networks want to reach into the past for profit - but hopefully the future is more like One Day at a Time, bringing new ideas to an old premise.


ABC Fall Preview Special



The ABC Fall Preview Special will air Sunday, Sept. 3 at 7:00pm on ABC and will be hosted by the stars of Speechless and American Housewife. Diedrich Bader and Cedric Yarbrough host the special with appearances from the new stars of ABC such as Jason Ritter (Kevin (Probably) Saves the World), Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor), Brandon Micheal Hall and Lea Michele (The Mayor)! The special has been airing on ABC affiliates already on the weekend. There will be clips and features on all of ABC's new shows, ABC's comedy brand and the final season of Scandal.

CBS Fall Preview

CBS Fall Preview, hosted by new series stars Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon), David Boreanaz (Seal Team), Mark Feuerstein (9JKL), Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T.), Bobby Moynihan (Me, Myself & I) and Jeremy Piven (Wisdom of the Crowd), is a primetime special highlighting the Network's six new fall series. It will be broadcast Monday, Sept. 4 at 8:30PM, ET/PT on the CBS Television Network and CBS All Access, the Network's digital subscription video on demand and live-streaming service.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

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
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, September 21

The Big Bang Theory - "The Long Distance Dissonance" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The gang is concerned when Sheldon’s former admirer, Dr. Ramona Nowitzki (Riki Lindhome), resurfaces while Amy is away at Princeton.

Mom - "A Few Things and a Hawaiian Funeral" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy and Jill take Emily to see her biological mother, Natasha (Missi Pyle), in rehab where they make a surprising discovery, and Bonnie watches Adam’s dog while he’s out of town.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Recollection Dissipation" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon pushes himself to the limit when he collaborates on projects with Leonard and Wolowitz as well as Amy on the same day. Also, Bernadette is nearing the end of her maternity leave and must return to work.

Mom - "Lockjaw and a Liquid Diet" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy tries to help when Bonnie gets into trouble with the IRS but, realizing she’s in over her head, she encourages Bonnie to seek help from her newfound brother, Ray (Leonard Roberts).

The Guest Book - "Story Nine" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jacob, an Amish kid on Rumspringa, follows the signs to God's Country and ends up at the cabin, where he is convinced God is directing him to meet the love of his life in any way possible.

Better Things - "Rising" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam clears her head.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 18)

Thursday, September 21

  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Catch Dave on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory/Young Sheldon) - Jim appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kaitlin Olson (The Mick/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) - Kailtin is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:45pm.
  • Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City) - Kyle visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent/The Paul Reiser Show) - Amy stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Essence Atkins (Marlon/Mr. Box Office/Are We There Yet?/Half & Half/Smart Guy) - Essence appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and Zach Woods (Silicon Valley/Playing House/The Office) - Kumail and Zach are guests on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Pamela Adlon (Better Things/The King of Queens/The Facts of Life) - Pamela appears on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.