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

Thursday, August 16

The Big Bang Theory - "The Athenaeum Allocation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard jumps through hoops to help secure the perfect wedding venue for Sheldon and Amy. Also, Bernadette and Wolowitz have a hard time deciding who should stay at home with the kids and who should go back to work. John Ross Bowie returns as Kripke.

Young Sheldon - "Dolomite, Apple Slices, and a Mystery Woman" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon makes friends with an upperclassman who introduces him to a new field of science. Also, Mary and George disagree on how to handle Sheldon’s blossoming social life.

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - "A Family Affair" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
With the retrial of Jesse Ray Beaumont looming, the team digs into Lavinia's past to gain some fresh insight into the case.

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - "Bad Instincts" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
With Lavinia eliminated as a suspect in Chet Peck's murder, Josh struggles with his defense for Jesse Ray Beaumont. Meanwhile, Dwayne enjoys his new life as a Peck.

American Woman - "Obstacle's Assets" (Paramount Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After a mistake at work, Bonnie deals with the repercussions; Kathleen has a major win at her casting office and feels reinvigorated by her burgeoning career; Diana makes a connection with her boss.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 13)

Thursday, August 16

  • Don Cheadle (House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Catch Don on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) - Constance stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Matt Groening (Creator of The Simpsons/Futurama) - Matt is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • D.L. Hughley (The Hughleys) - D.L. appears on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy/Reba) - Melissa guest co-hosts Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Trial & Error/Kristin) and Nicholas D'Agosto (Trial & Error) - Kristin and Nicholas are guests on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Insatiable/Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa talks about Insatiable on Couch Surfing on PeopleTV at 8am.
  • Regina Hall (Insecure/Grandfathered) - Regina talks about Support Our Girls on the BUILD Series at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five

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
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest