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!


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, 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, March 22

Superstore - "Target" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Jeff (Michael Bunin) leaves Cloud 9 to work at Target, Garrett (Colton Dunn) leads Glenn (Mark McKinney) to believe that he's poaching other employees to go with him. In return Glenn tries to poach employees from Target. Amy (America Ferrera) goes on a double date with Dina (Lauren Ash), and Kelly (Kelly Stables) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) discuss moving in together.

A.P. Bio - "Selling Out" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack (Glenn Howerton) receives an offer from Miles' (Tom Bennett) publisher to write a book of feel-good philosophy that could be his ticket out of Toledo. Durbin accidentally sets off an emotional firestorm when he reveals that while Stef (Lyric Lewis) chose Mary (Mary Sohn) as her emergency contact, Mary chose Michelle (Jean Villepique).

Atlanta - "Money Bag Shawty" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
People act differently outside the city.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Thursday, March 22

  • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) and John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - Catch Roseanne and John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Rob Riggle (Golan the Insatiable/Gary Unmarried) - Rob appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Eddie Kaye Thomas ('Til Death/How to Make It in America) - Eddie drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Natasha Leggero (Dice/Another Period/Free Agents) - Natasha is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie stops by Desus & Mero at 11pm on Viceland.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Nia Long (Uncle Buck/The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Nia appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jason George (Eve) - Jason drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan and The Real, so check your listings. He opens up about Station 19 on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Lamorne Morris (New Girl) - Lamorne is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher (Take My Wife) - Cameron and Rhea are guests on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Keith Carradine (Complete Savages) - Keith is at the kitchen table on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Sex and the City) - John joins Clinton Kelly in the kitchen on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He talks about his movie God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about Netflix's Alexa & Katie on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella talks about Midnight Sun on the BUILD Series at 1:30pm.
  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim talks about Comedy Central's The Jim Jefferies Show on the BUILD Series at 2:30pm.