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

Sunday, April 22

Bob's Burgers - "Cheer Up Sleepy Gene" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Gene gets invited to his first sleepover, and things don't go as planned; Bob and Linda record themselves while sleeping to prove who snores more.

Bob's Burgers - "Go Tina on the Mountain" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
The Belcher kids go to Outdoor Education only to have it rain; Tina meets a hermit living in the woods; Bob and Linda experience what it's like to be empty nesters.

The Simpsons - "Lisa Gets the Blues" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the Simpsons' flight is rerouted to New Orleans, Lisa rediscovers her passion for jazz; Bart is intrigued by voodoo; Homer is intrigued by drinking.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Gray Star Mutual" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When a fire destroys Charles' food truck, Pimento unexpectedly shows up to the scene as the insurance agent; Rosa helps Amy to see that it's okay to get excited about picking her wedding dress; Gina and Terry coach Holt in the art of social media.

Family Guy - "'Family Guy' Through the Years" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
A reimagining of the show as a series that's been on the air for 60 years; a look back at the cultural events and issues tackled on the show through the decades.

The Last Man on Earth - "The Blob" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
A thermal heat detector reveals a potential sign of life, but Tandy doesn't want the group to split up to investigate; Todd and Erica have trouble seeing eye to eye.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 16)

Friday, April 20

  • Rory Scovel (Ground Floor) - Rory chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Susan Kelechi Watson (Louie) - Susan is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Lahti (The Harvey Korman Show) - Christine Christine talks about her book True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness: A Feminist Coming of Age on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • T.R Knight (Charlie Lawrence) - T.R. talks about Nat Geo's Genius on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage) - Emmanuelle talks about Super Troopers 2 on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Sean Hayes (Will & Grace/Sean Saves the World) - Sean speaks out about his terrifying health scare and his fight against hearing loss on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly talks about Meet the Peetes on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Alia Shawkat (Search Party/Arrested Development) - Alia talks about Duck Butter on the BUILD Series at 10am.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House), Beverley Mitchell (Hollywood Darlings and Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Jodie, Beverley and Christine talk about Pop's Hollywood Darlings on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Complete Fifth Season Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete First Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season

02/06 - All in the Family - Seasons 1-5
02/06 - Bosom Buddies - The Complete Series
02/06 - Women of the House - Complete 12 Episode Series
02/13 - Broad City - Season 4
02/13 - Three's Company - The Complete Series - Come and Knock on Our Door Collection
02/27 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Seventh Season
02/27 - Green Acres - The Complete Fifth Season
02/27 - Mayberry R.F.D. - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
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