Friday, October 06, 2017

Fri-Yay: The 2017-2018 New Sitcoms Slate; Freeform Sets Cast for Sitcom Pilot

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!

NBC CBS Fox ABC

by Vincent

So what's the state of this year's freshman class of sitcoms? Now that we're nearing mid-October, we've seen pretty much all of the sitcoms that will be premiering this fall. Each network has premiered at least one new sitcom (okay, in the case of NBC they technically haven't since Will & Grace is really a returning series), so let's go for a network-by-network breakdown of "the state of the sitcoms." Frankly, it's a bit of a light year for new sitcoms, so we'll also be looking at each network's overall network slate when evaluating their new shows.

CBS: CBS premiered the most new sitcoms this fall, with three newbies - two of which are currently airing on Monday nights (9JKL and Me, Myself and I) and one of which had a "special preview" and will be airing in its regular timeslot starting in November (Young Sheldon). CBS has a lot of new sitcoms this fall, but none are particularly great, at least not yet. 9JKL feels like an unnecessary Everybody Loves Raymond rehash, Me, Myself and I has potential but still needs to work out its off-beat premise, and Young Sheldon has flashes of ambition but also feels too much like a cash grab spin-off. Still, it's nice that CBS is trying and experimenting. Me, Myself and I has a more interesting premise than your average CBS sitcom, and Young Sheldon sees the show playing with a single-camera Wonder Years-esque format (even if, again, it's a bit of a cash grab.) Much like its returning comedies (with the exception of the genuinely very good Mom), CBS's new sitcoms are essentially fine, if nothing to write home about.

ABC - ABC has had the most consistently solid sitcom line-up of the past 6 or 7 years, with a solid stable of family comedies that hit with critics and audiences alike. The Mayor is the only new ABC comedy this fall, and although it's not a family comedy, it still has the trademark ABC mix of humor, heart, and subtle social commentary. Along with excellent returning sitcoms like black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, The Middle, and Speechless along with old favorite Modern Family, ABC has once again put together a masterclass comedy line-up that all of the other networks can only hope for.

NBC - NBC's sitcom slate was in disarray for many years, falling hard from the heights of the days when they aired beloved shows like Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends, The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, etc. However, in the past few years, NBC's comedy line-up has risen from the ashes a bit. Starting with the dearly departed The Carmichael Show and continuing with the consistently charming Superstore, the mind-blowing heights of The Good Place, and the highly promising Great News, NBC has put together a solid comedy line-up. Now with a hyped anchor in the Will & Grace revival, NBC has a shot at rivaling ABC for being the network source for top-notch comedy.

FOX - FOX's only new comedy this fall is Ghosted, which is an intriguing high-concept show with two very capable lead actors (Adam Scott and Craig Robinson) but doesn't quite feel all there yet. Still, with a solid stable of recurring comedies in The Mick, The Last Man on Earth, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and its always reliable animated slate (featuring the always wonderful Bob's Burgers and long-running staples The Simpsons and Family Guy), it's not hard to think Ghosted will eventually live up to its cast and premise.

So, overall, despite a somewhat weak showing this fall, the networks have a solid enough stable of recurring comedies that they're in pretty good shape going into the 2017 - 2018 TV season. Hopefully some of the newbies live up to their potential, and the networks' sitcom stables could grow even more impressively.


Freeform

Freeform, Disney's young adult television and streaming network, reveals cast for new comedy pilot, Now & Then. The pilot is a single-camera comedy about a group of old college friends who, after having lost touch over the years, are brought back together unexpectedly for one wild night. Reuniting as friends gives them a new lease on life and the opportunity to discover who they always promised each other they would be. The pilot is written by Shawn Wines who will also serve as executive producer, along with executive producers Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor.

Myko Olivier (Menendez: Blood Brothers) stars as Nick, who was destined for greatness in college but has been lying to his friends for years about his success. Mia Serafino (Crowded) plays Emily, Nick's best friend who dreamed of becoming a singer but ended up a disenchanted real estate agent. Punam Patel (Return of the Mac, Kevin From Work) portrays Sarah, a witty and sarcastic science major turned researcher, who is bored with her mundane life, but reuniting with her old pals just may re-invigorate her and send her on a different path. Brandon Mychal Smith (You're the Worst, Sweet/Vicious) will star as EZ, the wild man in the group of college friends, but years later, is a house husband whose life is totally consumed by his infant daughter. James Earl (Scream Queens) will portray Moose, the "lovable idiot" of the group. Years later, Moose is divorced and living a bleak life, but reuniting with his old pals may be the springboard he needs to make some changes. Rounding out the cast is Ana Cruz Kayne (The Bold Type) who plays Jane, a confident and charming coed, and Moose's college partner in crime. Jane is now a successful lawyer but has put her dating life and real-life goals on the backburner.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, March 22

Fresh Off the Boat - "Vice Mommy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessica starts her college classes, leaving Evan in charge at home as “vice mommy.” But the transition doesn’t go smoothly, either for her starting school again or with Evan taking over the reins of the Huang household. Eddie and Louis run into conflict when Eddie just wants his dad to treat him as an employee, and not a son, at Cattleman’s Ranch.

Speechless - "P-R-O-M-P--PROMPOSAL" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Outraged that JJ’s girlfriend, Izzy, declines his invitation to prom, Dylan and Ray swing for the fences with a bold plan to make her jealous. Jimmy, Kenneth and Melanie coach Maya through accepting criticism for the good of her company, and one of the DiMeos takes a big step into a new life.

Last Man Standing - "The Passion of Paul" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Rev. Paul calls on Mike to teach Sunday school, Mike calls on Kyle to take his place.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Ups Her Game" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret tries to date the hottest guy in Shady Meadows but can't seem to rid herself of Leonard.

Sydney to the Max - "You've Got Female" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sydney organizes a school protest for clubs to be more inclusive of women; young Max befriends a skater girl, but is conflicted because the Dog Boys don't allow girls in their crew.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 18)

Friday, March 22

  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends/Vinnie & Bobby) - Watch Matt on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Illana Glazer (Broad City) - Illana is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Pamela Adlon (Better Things/King of the Hill/The Facts of Life) - Pamela appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • J. K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher/Family Tools) - J. K. is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Cobie Smulders (Friends from College/How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies) - Stephen is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing Houe/Gary Unmarried) - Keegan-Michael visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Piper Perabo (Turn Up Charlie) - Piper is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Casey Wilson (Black Monday/Marry Me/Happy Endings) - Casey talks about Black Monday on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Natalie Morales (Abby's/The Grinder/Trophy Wife/Parks and Recreation) - Natalie appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark talks about Knightfall on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Tony Danza (Taxi/Who's the Boss?/Hudston Street/The Tony Danza Show) - Tony performs on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Maddie Corman (Mr. President/All-American Girl) - Maddie talks about the play Accidentally Brave on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti will be on Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February/March)

Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
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