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

Friday, January 18

Fresh Off the Boat - "Driver's Eddie 2: Orlando Drift" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Eddie finally gets his driver’s license; but instead of freedom, he finds an endless list of errands to run for his mom. Will he be done in time to take his friends to the Insane Clown Posse concert? Louis is excited for a boy’s weekend at Chili Con with Marvin, until Honey tags along; and Jessica faces off with her nemesis, Jamie, at the school fundraiser.

Speechless - "H-- HEY, YOU" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Maya is less than thrilled when Kenneth interferes with her business plans with Melanie. Ray begs JJ to cast him opposite his new crush, Izzy, in his next movie, which has unexpected consequences. Meanwhile, Dylan is impressed with Jimmy’s band.

Last Man Standing - "Dreams vs. Realty" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mandy comes close to forgetting her fashion designer dreams when she is confronted with rejection and sends herself in a spiral; Vanessa feels regret as she reflects on her own career path; Mike helps the women in his family achieve their dreams.

The Cool Kids - "Thanksgiving at Murray's" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mike and Ryan are forced to get along together when Boyd proposes a compromise to their plans to take him on separate trips by all three going on a trip together; Mandy and Kyle attempt to solve a mystery like a pair of detectives.

Andi Mack - "I Got Your Number" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Andi gets in over her head when she attends a high school party with Amber, causing Bowie's plans for a romantic outing with Bex to go awry; Cyrus tries to mend a longtime rift between Jonah and T.J.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 14)

Friday, January 18

  • Maura Tierney (NewsRadio) - Watch Maura on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs) - Elizabeth visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She talks about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andy appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Lily and Jane are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about All These Small Moments on People Now at 12pm.
  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Don talks about Black Monday on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Dave talks about If Beale Street Could Talk on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Adam Pally (Champaign ILL/Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) and Sam Richardson (Champaign ILL/Detroiters/Veep) - Adam and Sam talk about Champaign ILL on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

Step by Step - The Complete Third Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series

11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
11/28 - The Great Indoors - Season 1 (The Complete Series)
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest