Friday, March 30, 2018

Fri-Yay: Roseanne Return Sparks Interest; WGN America Acquires Last Man Standing

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!

Roseanne

by Vincent

Tuesday night, Roseanne returned to ABC after over 20 years, and in doing so it set both the internet and TV airwaves on fire. Roseanne's premiere scored 18.4 million viewers and a 5.2 in the demo. That's the best rating for an entertainment series all season (aside from the post-Superbowl episode of This Is Us) and the best ratings point for a sitcom in six years - and given ratings decline, arguably the most impressive ratings point for a sitcom in over a decade. The show, much like its original run, also has been causing some controversy among those who question whether someone like Roseanne Barr, who in recent years has spouted some fairly divisive opinions on her social media accounts and in interviews, should be given such a huge platform. Additionally, many fans of the original series have taken issue with the fact that Roseanne's character is being portrayed as a Trump supporter, when in the original series she seemed like a generally progressive woman advocating for topics such as female and LGBT rights. Needless to say, the Roseanne premiere is sparking a lot of interest, a lot of controversy, and a lot of chatter in general - much like the original run of the series.

While I don't personally agree with Roseanne's real-life politics, I think the show is an excellent way to portray our current political divide in the country. By showing a real family rift caused by the 2016 election and the messy political arguments that came after (and, in many ways, led to the election), people on both sides of the political coin may be able to consider viewpoints aside from their own, and do so while laughing along to a generally funny, well-written and well-acted sitcom. I've highlighted shows like One Day at a Time and The Carmichael Show several times in this column, which in many ways seemed to contribute to a television landscape where a show like Roseanne that deals with controversial topics in funny ways could thrive. And the Roseanne reboot, based on its strong first two episodes, has the potential to live up to these series in its boldness. It may not always be a comfortable viewing experience, but maybe that's what we need right now - to be removed from our comfort zones. Given Roseanne's blockbuster ratings, it seems that this might be exactly what American TV audiences have been craving.


Last Man Standing

WGN America announced it is expanding its slate to include the popular family sitcom Last Man Standing. The network will be adding the Tim Allen (Home Improvement, Toy Story) comedy to its programming schedule, starting Monday, April 30, 2018. The sitcom has been popular in reruns airing in local broadcast syndication, CMT and Freeform. It will continue on all those outlets when WGN America starts airing it, as we believe WGN has gotten Hallmark's rights, which stopped the series in late 2017. From 20th Century Fox Television and distributed by Twentieth Television, Last Man Standing follows the life of Mike Baxter (Tim Allen), hilarity-ensuing family man and the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store. While Mike is "king of the hill" at work, he's the odd man out in a home that is dominated by strong-willed women -- namely his wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), and their three daughters, 20- year-old Kristin (Amanda Fuller), 17-year-old Mandy (Molly Ephraim) and 13-year-old Eve (Kaitlyn Dever). After being a stay-at-home mom for years, Vanessa recently returned to the workplace, requiring Mike to be more hands on than he's ever been before.

The Emmy(R)-nominated show starring Tim Allen, Nancy Travis (The Bill Engvall Show, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and Hector Elizondo (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries) is created by Jack Burditt (30 Rock, Frasier, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). Tim Allen, Matt Berry (Desperate Housewives, Reba), Marty Adelstein (Prison Break, Teen Wolf), Becky Clements (Aquarius), Shawn Levy (Stranger Things, Arrival), Richard Baker (The Santa Clause, The Drew Carrey Show), and Rick Messina (The Santa Clause, The Drew Carrey Show) serve as executive producers of the series.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, August 20

In The Cut - "Checkin' In, Dozin' Off" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Kenny fails to check in with Angelique, leading to some tough love; Smitty struggles with insomnia.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 20)

Monday, August 20

  • Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Watch Ray on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Joel McHale (Community/The Great Indoors) - Joel appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley) - Jimmy visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Betty Gilpin (GLOW/Nurse Jackie) - Betty appears on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • J.K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher/Family Tools) - J.K. discusses the series Counterpart on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway (Rhythm & Blues) - Vanessa is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rachael Harris (Surviving Jack/My Boys/Notes from the Underbelly) - Rachael appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Son of Zorn/Suburgatory) - Cheryl is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter drops by Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy/Reba) - Melissa guest co-hosts Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Katie O'Brien and Katy Colloton (Teachers) - Katie and Katy are guests on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Marilu Henner (Taxi/Evening Shade) - Marilu talks about Broadway's Gettin' The Band Back Together 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