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.


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
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