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

Friday, December 14

Fresh Off the Boat - "Cousin Eddie" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The battle begins between mother and son when Eddie informs Jessica that he wants to spend Christmas with friend Nicole in New York. But Jessica insists that tradition prevails and he needs to spend the holiday with the family, so he does everything within his power to try and get her to crack and allow him to go. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan do their best to try and help an overwhelmed Emery decide on which one of his numerous friends to invite to the family’s Christmas Eve dinner.

Speechless - "J-I-- JINGLE T-H-- THON" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A Christmas tree fire leads Maya to tell a small lie with big consequences. Meanwhile, Ray struggles to live in Pepper’s shadow as Dylan twists the knife, and JJ encourages Kenneth to stand up to his sisters (guest stars Niecy Nash and Lisa Leslie).

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Pioneer Women.” Both were colorized with a nod to the 1950s period in which they were filmed. The main titles and end credits are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet, and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS on Christmas Eve, 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Long thought to be lost, the program was rediscovered by CBS in 1989.

In “Pioneer Women,” Lucy and Ethel’s hopes of joining the posh Society Matrons’ League leads to a bet with their husbands over which sex – the men or the women – had it harder living in a bygone era. They select the turn of the last century, and as Lucy and Ethel start to bake their own bread and churn their own butter, the men become acquainted with straight-blade shaving and riding home from work on horseback. They all have some “‘splainin’” to do when two ladies from the Society Matrons’ League stop by for an unexpected visit.

“Pioneer Women” was originally broadcast on March 31, 1952, and became an immediate viewer favorite.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - "The Dick Van Dyke Show -- Now in Living Color!" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The special features the season one episode “Where Did I Come From,” written by Carl Reiner, and the season four episode “Never Bathe on Saturday,” also written by Reiner. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set – at the beginning and end of the hour – with no interruption between the episodes.

The Emmy Award-winning series starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as television comedy writer Rob and his wife, Laura Petrie; Larry Matthews as their son, Ritchie; Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie as Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, co-writers on the fictional “The Alan Brady Show”; Carl Reiner as Alan Brady; Richard Deacon as Mel Cooley; Jerry Paris as Dr. Jerry Helper; and Ann Morgan Guilbert as Millie Krumbermacher Helper.

In “Where Did I Come From,” 6-year-old Ritchie asks his parents the inevitable “where did I come from?” question, and they recall the days before his birth. The episode was first presented on Jan. 3, 1961 during the series’ first season.

In “Never Bathe on Saturday,” the Petries’ romantic second honeymoon becomes a disaster when Laura’s toe gets caught in a bath spout. The episode was first presented on March 31, 1965, during season four.

Last Man Standing - "The Gift of the Mike Guy" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa helps the family realize the importance of its long-standing holiday family traditions.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Dates the Zodiac Killer" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret begins dating Karl, a fellow resident who may or may not be the "Zodiac Killer."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Friday, December 14

  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Watch Karen on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about The Party's Just Beginning on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Tony Shalhoub (Wings/We Are Men) - Watch Tony on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Laura Linney (The Big C) and Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Bryan, Laura and Nick make special guest appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Burr (F Is for Family/Townies) - Bill is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Romany Malco (Weeds/Blunt Talk) - Romany is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn talks about the film Private Life on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Angela and her husband Joshua Snyder serve up monkey bread and chocolate peppermint cupcakes on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Second Act on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek/Get a Life) - Chris talks about Clara's Ghost on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Tia Mowry (Instant Mom/The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia talks about Hallmark Channel's A Gingerbread Romance on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Christine is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.


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

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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