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

Thursday, October 19

Superstore - "Workplace Bullying" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions arise among the employees after an attempted robbery, pitting Dina (Lauren Ash) against Jonah (Ben Feldman). Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) has a tough time firing the store security guard, and Amy (America Ferrera) discovers that her coworkers have been hanging out without her.

The Good Place - "The Trolley Problem" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael (Ted Danson). Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) harbors a secret and confides in Janet (D'Arcy Carden).

Will & Grace - "Grandpa Jack" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jack (Sean Hayes) is stunned to learn that his estranged son, Elliot (guest star Michael Angarano) has a son of his own, Skip (guest star Jet Jurgensmeyer). Moreover, Skip needs the kind of help only Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack can provide. Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) behave badly with the hot new guy at work.

Great News - "Award Show" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
For the first time in years, "The Breakdown" has been nominated for an American Journalism Award. Katie (Briga Heelan) is looking forward to spending the night as a peer with the very reporters she has admired her whole life. Fearing her mother will ruin it, Katie tries to stop Carol (Andrea Martin) from attending but is unsuccessful when Carol secures a position as a seat-filler. Katie is stuck babysitting her mom all night but gets distracted by Jeremy (guest star Reid Scott), a handsome New York Times reporter who looks down on cable news. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) is excited to reunite with all of his old anchormen friends, especially Len Archer (guest star Christopher McDonald), an idol of Chuck's who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Better Things - "Eulogy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam demands satisfaction.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Thursday, October 19

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Carl Reinder (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Office) - Angela talks about the new season of her Netflix show Haters Back Off on the People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) - Hayley appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna teams up with Michael Symon in the kitchen, giving the scoop on her new show and whipping up a tasty dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She also talks about Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Redman (Method & Red) - Redman appears on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Debra Messing and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Debra and Eric are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.


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