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

Tuesday, February 19

American Housewife - "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After coming to terms with the fact that she must share her work bonus with Greg, Katie encourages him to live a little and the two decide to splurge on an overnight getaway. Meanwhile, Oliver’s attempt at a rebellious streak ends in disaster; and after letting Anna-Kat down, Taylor comes to the realization that she needs to step up and be a better big sister.

The Kids Are Alright - "Happy Cecil" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Mike and Peggy are stunned when they learn that Father Dunne has a girlfriend and decides to leave the priesthood. When the associate pastor, Father Abdi, is put in charge, Mike and Peggy do their best to adjust to the new changes until Peggy gets an idea for how to get rid of him. Meanwhile, Frank loses the church keys entrusted to him by Father Abdi and must find them before anyone else does.

black-ish - "Son of a Pitch" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Junior is working at Stevens & Lido as an intern and takes some time to find his footing; but when he offers an idea during a pitch meeting, Dre immediately puts him in his place. Meanwhile, Bow has a meeting with one of Kyra’s teachers and learns that she has an aptitude for chemistry, but Kyra doesn’t want to transfer to a magnet school.

Splitting Up Together - "Everything's Okay" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Lena confirms that she has feelings for Martin but is confused when his response is not what she expects. To escape the situation, Lena joins Camille and Maya on a road trip for a girl’s weekend before Maya’s baby arrives. Meanwhile, Martin, still considering how to respond to Lena, joins Arthur, Frank and Henry in chasing after the women.

Teachers - "Relationslut" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ms. Snap helps Ms. Watson find her inner slut while simultaneously getting into a relationship of her own. Mrs. Adler and Toby try to teach their students about the effects of bullying.

Miracle Workers - "13 Days" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
God asks Sanjay to smite a non-believer; Craig and Eliza have their work cut out for them.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Tuesday, February 19

  • Regina King (227) - Catch Regina on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jon Bernthal (The Class) - Jon appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Dan Levy (Schitt's Creek) - Dan stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also talks about How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Daniel Radcliffe (Miracle Workers) - Daniel drops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Eva Marcille (Born Again Virgin) - Eva is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Cheers) - Kelsey talks about his new show and his new brewery in upstate New York on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings. He also talks about Proven Innocent on People Now at 12pm.
  • Jay Baruchel (Man Seeking Woman/Undeclared) - Jay talks about How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
  • AJ Michalka (Schooled) - AJ is a guest on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season

01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest