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

Wednesday, December 13

The Goldbergs - "We Didn't Start the Fire" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Erica tells Beverly she is going to spend the first night of Hanukkah with Geoff and his family, Beverly worries and starts a competition for who hosts the best Hanukkah party. Meanwhile, Barry seeks advice from Pops on how to be cool and suggests entering into the school’s talent show. However, when Pops hears Barry sing, he tries to stop him from performing, but will it be too late?

Speechless - "S-I--SILENT N-I-- NIGHT" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After leveraging JJ in an attempt to land a family dog, Dylan takes a vow of silence to better understand what it is to be her brother. Ray brokers a meeting between his girlfriend’s mother, Melanie (guest star Sarah Chalke), and Maya, only to realize they have a history. Jimmy drives Kenneth crazy by gaming a supermarket giveaway to score free Christmas turkeys.

Modern Family - "No Small Feet" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Claire lands a big opportunity for Pritchett’s Closets, Jay expects a little validation for his contribution; and Pam’s ex-boyfriend Bo (James Van Der Beek) shows up and Mitchell sees this as the perfect opportunity to get Pam out of the house. Meanwhile, Luke and Alex stumble upon a successful online business that finally gets them on their feet.

American Housewife - "Blue Christmas" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Doris goes into labor and Katie heads to the hospital to be with her, the Ottos struggle to be in the same place at the same time in order to open their Christmas presents together, as is the Otto family tradition. Meanwhile, Taylor coaches Oliver on the best way to ask out a crush, starting with the gift shop clerk.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 11)

Wednesday, December 13

  • Yvette Nicole Brown (The Mayor/The Odd Couple/Community) - Watch Yvette on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Nick appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Rebel Wilson (Super Fun Night) and Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Rebel, Anna and the cast of Pitch Perfect 3 are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Diedrich Bader (American Housewife/The Drew Carey Show) - Diedrich appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) and Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Kevin, Karen and the cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Dan Aykroyd (Soul Man) - Dan talks about Crystal Head Vodka on the BUILD Series at 2:30pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December)

The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
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