Friday, March 09, 2018

Fri-Yay: What Can Sitcoms Do Better Next Year?; New Nick Sitcom Coming Later This Year

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!

A.P. Bio

by Vincent

It's pretty fair, at this point, to say that this was a bust year for new sitcoms. After NBC's AP Bio has gotten off to a slow start both commercially and critically, it becomes the latest in a long line of disappointing network comedies. Is this the end for network comedies? Have streaming and cable finally overtaken the network sitcom we all know and love? Well...maybe not. Every time there's an off year for sitcoms, it seems that armies of people become ready to bury the network sitcom, and yet it always comes back eventually. Still, it'd be nice to have a solid new slate of sitcoms next year. Here are some things I'd like to see from upcoming network sitcoms.

Interesting concepts. The best comedy on network TV right now is The Good Place, and while that show works largely because of its excellent cast and top-notch writing, its truly unique concept certainly helps. The show feels absolutely nothing like anything else on TV, and it's managed to still be a critical and commercial success. I would love to see more of The Good Place's innovation on network television. After all, its success proves that show can be as original and mind-blowing as The Good Place and still pull in a large enough audience to be an easy renewal every year. So what's network TV's excuse?

Ensemble comedies. Over the past few years, the ensemble comedy has sort of fallen by the wayside. The one major exception is NBC's Superstore, another of the few critical and commercially successful comedies left on broadcast TV. A few years ago, ensemble series were all the rage, from Community to The Office to Happy Endings to Cougar Town. I'd love to see them make a comeback. A good ensemble comedy can feel like hanging out with a cherished group of friends week after week.

High quality multi-camera sitcoms. The multi-camera sitcom has experienced a small creative resurgence with shows like The Carmichael Show (rest in peace...), One Day at a Time and Mom, but it still feels like networks aren't really giving them much effort. Even CBS, long the staple of the multi-camera sitcom, is focusing its attention more on its single-cams as of late than its multi-cams. But when done right, a multi-camera sitcom can be something special, broad enough to appeal to a wide audience but specific enough to really appeal to audience its crafted for. It would be great to see a show like One Day at a Time on broadcast television. Perhaps the Roseanne remake will do the trick. Which leads me to...

Less remakes. C'mon, networks - I get that it's tempting, but how long can this remake trend really last? After all, even Will & Grace has come down quite a bit since its big start. Remakes aren't sustainable, but new ideas and new talent is.

Cousins for Life

Nickelodeon announced it has greenlit a new live-action series, Cousins for Life (20 episodes), from veteran creators and executive producers Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert (Austin & Ally, All That). The new buddy comedy centers on 12-year-old cousins Stuart (Dallas Young) and Ivy (Scarlet Spencer), best friends who come from very different backgrounds, and learn to navigate life under one roof with their families. Cousins For Life begins production in Los Angeles this summer, and the series is scheduled to air later this year.

After Stuart's mom is deployed overseas, his fun-loving dad Clark (Ishmel Sahid) decides to move the family to Portland to live with his uptight brother Lewis (Ron G.) and his family, which includes Stuart's confident, socially active cousin Ivy and her younger, overly-curious brother Leaf (Micah Abbey). Now living in a brand new city, Stuart embarks on a variety of endeavors with Ivy that lead to hilarious adventures. Although the cousins do not always see eye-to-eye, Ivy and Stuart learn they are better together, and when they team up, they are unstoppable.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, March 22

Superstore - "Target" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Jeff (Michael Bunin) leaves Cloud 9 to work at Target, Garrett (Colton Dunn) leads Glenn (Mark McKinney) to believe that he's poaching other employees to go with him. In return Glenn tries to poach employees from Target. Amy (America Ferrera) goes on a double date with Dina (Lauren Ash), and Kelly (Kelly Stables) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) discuss moving in together.

A.P. Bio - "Selling Out" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack (Glenn Howerton) receives an offer from Miles' (Tom Bennett) publisher to write a book of feel-good philosophy that could be his ticket out of Toledo. Durbin accidentally sets off an emotional firestorm when he reveals that while Stef (Lyric Lewis) chose Mary (Mary Sohn) as her emergency contact, Mary chose Michelle (Jean Villepique).

Atlanta - "Money Bag Shawty" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
People act differently outside the city.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Thursday, March 22

  • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) and John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - Catch Roseanne and John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Rob Riggle (Golan the Insatiable/Gary Unmarried) - Rob appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Eddie Kaye Thomas ('Til Death/How to Make It in America) - Eddie drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Natasha Leggero (Dice/Another Period/Free Agents) - Natasha is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie stops by Desus & Mero at 11pm on Viceland.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Nia Long (Uncle Buck/The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Nia appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jason George (Eve) - Jason drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan and The Real, so check your listings. He opens up about Station 19 on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Lamorne Morris (New Girl) - Lamorne is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher (Take My Wife) - Cameron and Rhea are guests on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Keith Carradine (Complete Savages) - Keith is at the kitchen table on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Sex and the City) - John joins Clinton Kelly in the kitchen on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He talks about his movie God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about Netflix's Alexa & Katie on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella talks about Midnight Sun on the BUILD Series at 1:30pm.
  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim talks about Comedy Central's The Jim Jefferies Show on the BUILD Series at 2:30pm.