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, October 15

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Spare Key" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Dave gives Calvin a spare key to the Johnsons’ house in case of an emergency and is pleasantly surprised when the gesture is reciprocated – or so he thinks.

Happy Together - "Let's Work It Out" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Cooper has to get in shape for an underwear ad, Jake and Claire are inspired to ditch their junk food and join his ultra-healthy lifestyle. With the help of Cooper and his trainer, Antoine (Anders Holm), Jake and Claire go on the most intense diet and exercise program of their lives.

Andi Mack - "Howling at the Moon Festival" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Friends and family gather to celebrate the Harvest Moon Festival, but Jonah's mishap may spoil the evening; Celia attempts to one-up her sister, Mei, by announcing a special event; Andi and Jonah have a heart-to-heart talk about their relationship.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 15)

Monday, October 15

  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Watch Melissa on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also talks about Can You Ever Forgive Me? on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Judy Greer (Kidding/Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) - Judy visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jane Levy (Suburgatory) - Jane is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Heather Dubrow (Stark Raving Mad) - Heather stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Anthony Atamanuik (The President Show) - Anthony appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) - Ike drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy visits Access Live, so check your local listings. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Alec gives Rach the hilarious scoop on Justin Bieber and his niece, Hailey Baldwin – and revealing if he and his wife, Hilaria, want to have baby #5 together on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa discusses the #MeToo movement one year later on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico appears on People Now at 12pm.
  • Peyton List (Bunk'd/Jessie) and Ajiona Alexus (The Rickey Smiley Show) - Peyton and Ajiona are guests on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Tyle Labine (Deadbeat/Animal Practice/Sons of Tucson) - Tyler will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Tiffany appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Nathan Fillion (Two Guys and a Girl) - Nathan talks about The Rookie on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


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

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest