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

Wednesday, September 26

The Goldbergs - "Sixteen Candles" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Adam’s 16th birthday, but his parents are too distracted by Barry and Lainey’s engagement and Erica’s band ambitions to remember their youngest son’s big day. But the situation presents an opportunity for Adam to ask Erica to put him on the high school social map. Meanwhile, Beverly thinks she can scare Barry and Lainey straight with the reality of being adults.

American Housewife - "Mom Guilt" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After spending years as a full-time mom, Katie goes back to work as a party planner, which brings new challenges of balancing home and work life into the mix.

Modern Family - "I Love a Parade" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan are going to be setting off more than a few fireworks when they get together at the annual Fourth of July parade where Jay will be acting as the grand marshal. Meanwhile, Haley’s goodbye with Arvin before his trip to Switzerland doesn’t go as well as she pictured it and is distracted by the return of an old flame.

Single Parents - "Pilot" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Will Cooper has been so focused on raising his daughter, Sophie, he’s lost sight of who he is as a man and has headed deep into the parental vortex. When the other single parents – Angie, Douglas, Poppy and Jake – at his daughter’s school see just how far down the rabbit hole of PTA, parenting and princesses Will has gone, they band together to get him out in the world and make him realize that being a great parent doesn’t mean sacrificing everything about your own identity.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "Time's Up for the Gang" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
When Paddy's is put on a list of bars that are sexually hostile toward women, the gang must attend a sexual harassment seminar to get their establishment removed from the list.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 24)

Wednesday, September 26

  • Brad Garrett (Single Parents/'Til Death/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Watch Brad on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) - Candice appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on the BUILD Series at 12:30pm.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She talks about The Good Place on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. She chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Max Greenfield (The Neighborhood/New Girl/Modern Men) - Max visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. He will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Tim Allen (Last Man Standing/Home Improvement) - Tim appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Katy Mixon (American Housewife/Mike & Molly) - Katy drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. She will also be on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Joe Morton (Grady) - Joe talks about God Friended Me on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Modern Family) - Aubrey appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca/Parks and Recreation/The Office) - Rashida and her father Quincy Jones are guests on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Ron Livingston (Loudermilk) - Ron talks about A Million Little Things on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America talks about Superstore on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Yara Shahidi (black-ish/grown-ish) - Yara talks about Smallfoot on People Now at 12pm.
  • Vivica A. Fox (Mr. Box Office/Getting Personal/Out All Night) - Vivica talks about Face the Truth on Chatter at 8pm.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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

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

08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
08/15 - A.P. Bio - Season One
08/28 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
08/28 - Man Seeking Woman - The Complete Third 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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest