Friday, December 01, 2017

Fri-Yay: Search Party, Creating a New Kind of Sitcom; Remembering Jim Nabors, MeTV and Decades TV Network to Pay Tribute

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!

Search Party

by Vincent

Sitcoms come in all shapes and sizes these days. While at one time, sitcoms all looked and felt fairly similar - laugh track, multi-camera, mostly following similar beats even if the way they portrayed those beats differed - sitcoms now blend with different styles and genres all of the time. So it's only in our current age that a show like Search Party could exist. Search Party is often a dark crime thriller, sometimes an intriguing mystery, sometimes a dramatic relationship drama, and yet it still is considered a sitcom. And it's a damn good one, at that.

What makes Search Party earn its title as a sitcom is its ensemble cast. This is your classic mix-up of different types - there's the relatable if flawed protagonist Dory, the bumbling boyfriend Drew, self-obsessed Elliott, and kind of clueless Portia. These archetypes could easily be a Friends­-esque 90s sitcom about 20-somethings living in the city, and they often play off of each other in well-constructed comic set pieces. If Search Party were just about these characters and their humorous antics, it'd be worth watching. And yet, there's an entire other element to Search Party that only adds to the show's unique flavor. Half of the fun of Search Party is in the well-plotted mysteries that feel more like a prestige drama than a silly sitcom. What makes Search Party work especially well, though, is the blending of these two different types of shows into one. Search Party would be a great show whether it was a silly ensemble comedy or a serious and dark mystery - combining both elements, though, is what makes it something truly special.


Jim Nabors

Actor, singer and comedian Jim Nabors, who was best known for his role as Gomer Pyle in The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., has died. He died at his Honolulu, Hawaii, home on November 30. He was suffering from health issues regarding his immune system as a result of contracting hepatitis B in India. Mr. Nabors was 87.

The Andy Griffith Show

Nabors first appeared as Gomer Pyle in the December 24, 1962, episode of The Andy Griffith Show titled "The Bank Job". Gomer Pyle was a simple-minded and gentle gas station attendant at Wally's filling station. He was known for the catchphrases "Shazam!", "Gawwww-leeeee", "Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise!" and "shame, shame, shame!" He would appear in 23 episodes until 1964. The classic series starred Andy Griffith, Ronny Howard, Don Knotts and Frances Bavier. In 1986, Nabors reunited with the cast for the NBC TV movie Return to Mayberry.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

The Gomer Pyle character became very popular during the year and a half he appeared on the show. After Howard McNear returned to the series in 1964, Andy Griffith proposed a spin-off series. Gomer leaves Mayberry to join the United States Marine Corps, which stationed him at Camp Henderson, California. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. ran for five seasons and 150 episodes on CBS from 1964 to 1969. The series also starred Frank Sutton and Ronnie Schell. Nabors appeared as Gomer Pyle in a cameo role in a 1966 episode of The Lucy Show. He appeared as Gomer Pyle for the final time in a 1991 episode of the ABC sitcom Hi Honey, I'm Home!.

Nabors' rich baritone voice made him a popular guest on variety shows such as The Carol Burnett Show. He was considered Carol Burnett's good luck charm and appeared in the season premiere of every season of the series. Some of his other variety show appearances included The Steve Allen Show, The Danny Kaye Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Dean Martin Show, The Leslie Uggams Show, The Johnny Cash Show, The Flip Wilson Show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Show.

He hosted and starred in the variety series The Jim Nabors Hour on CBS from 1969-1971. The series featured his Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. co-stars Frank Sutton and Ronnie Schell. He hosted another variety series in 1978 called The Jim Nabors Show. He received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Host or Hostess in a Talk, Service or Variety Series.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Valentine's Day, Aloha Paradise and The Love Boat.

He was a friend of Burt Reynolds. He starred in three of his movies: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Stroker Ace and Cannonball Run II.

Nabors also had much success as a singer. He recorded 28 albums and numerous singles. His certified gold albums were Jim Nabors Sings Love Me With All Your Heart (1966), Jim Nabors Sings the Lord's Prayer (1968) and Jim Nabors Christmas Album (1990). He was known for performing Back Home Again in Indiana prior to the start of the Indianapolis 500 from 1972 to 2014, except for occasional absences due to illnesses or scheduling conflicts.

Surviors include his husband, Stan Cadwallader. The couple had been together for 38 years before being married in Washington state in 2013.

Mr. Nabors had great talent as an actor, comedian and singer. He was quite memorable and likable as Gomer Pyle. We thank him for the many hours of laughter and entertainment he brought us over the years. He will be greatly missed.

Share your memories on our Andy Griffith Show or Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. message boards. View photos in our galleries.

Remembering Jim Nabors - MeTV

MeTV pays tribute to Jim Nabors with two special episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and two special airings of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. beginning tonight (December 1) at 8PM | 7C. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. airs weekly on Saturday mornings at 5:30AM ET.

The Andy Griffith Show - "Andy Saves Gomer" 8PM | 7C
Gomer is convinced that Andy saved his life by putting out a small fire at the filling station. He then begins to repay Andy by becoming his servant.

The Andy Griffith Show - "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." 8:30PM | 7:30C
Gomer comes to the courthouse one day with an announcement—he has decided to join the Marines, believing it a test of his manhood. This fourth season finale served as the launch pad for the spin-off.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - "Gomer Overcomes the Obstacle Course" 9PM | 8C
In the series premiere, Gomer tries to pass an obstacle course to earn the respect of Sgt. Carter.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - "The Show Must Go On" 9:30PM | 8:30C
Gomer has stage fright and loses his voice just before a Washington show. Here, you can witness his deep, booming voice, as Nabors sings in the final act.

Jim Nabors

Decades TV Network will pay tribute to Jim Nabors with a weekend binge of 84 episodes of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.. This special Decades multi-day tribute presentation of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C begins on Saturday, December 9, beginning at 1:00pm ET, and continues all weekend through Monday, December 11 at 7:00 am ET. To see a complete program schedule and to find out where you can watch Decades, please visit www.decades.com .


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, June 18

Mom - "Charlotte Brontë and a Backhoe" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bonnie locks horns with Jill’s “inner strength” coach, Miranda (Kristin Chenoweth). Also, Christy struggles to bounce back after being rejected from law school.

Man with a Plan - "Battle of the Sexists" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Adam and Andi try to get back in their neighbors’ good graces after no one shows up to their potluck.

Andi Mack - "Truth or Truth" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the power goes out in Shadyside, a day of fun and games sheds light on unexpected revelations.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Monday, June 18

  • Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts) - Watch Jermaine on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway (Rhythm & Blues) - Vanessa is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Bianca Lawson (Goode Behavior/Saved by the Bell: The New Class) - Bianca is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Heather Dubrow (Stark Raving Mad) - Heather drops by Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy/Working Class/Reba) - Melissa guest co-hosts Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim talks about Hotel Transylvania 3 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Craig T. Nelson (Coach) - Craig cooks with Clinton Kelly on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Katie O'Brien and Katy Colloton (Teachers) - Katie and Katy talk about Teachers on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest