Friday, June 01, 2018

Fri-Yay: How the Rise and Fall of Roseanne Shows the Downside of Revivals; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Wraps Up January 25, 2019

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

A month ago, Roseanne was on top of the world. Her show was in the midst of a tenth season revival that was setting ratings records and would easily finish the season as the highest-rated show of the year. The popularity and buzz around the new season sparked an interest in Roseanne reruns, and they became available and heavily promoted on various cable networks. Despite being a polarizing media presence, Roseanne Barr herself was once again becoming the most talked about woman on television, over 20 years after the end of the original run of her incredibly popular and acclaimed sitcom. Fast forward to a month later, and things look very different. Roseanne's sitcom has been cancelled, setting a new kind of TV record: the only time in television history that the #1 show on television has been cancelled (TV historians might point out that Seinfeld was #1 during its final season, but that show ended on its own terms with a planned finale and was not 'cancelled' the way that Roseanne was). Roseanne's show was not cancelled due to ratings (while viewership steadily declined over the 9-episode season, the show still ended with ratings that put it ahead of nearly every other show on television) but rather because of a racist tweet that Barr tweeted from her Twitter feed. The tweet was bad enough that several of the show's producers quit the show, and ABC ultimately felt it had no choice but to pull the plug on the series due to the unfathomably bad press that Roseanne was receiving.

Considering how huge Roseanne was and how it's pretty much impossible for ABC to fill the gap in its schedule with anything that will be nearly as big, it stands to reason that Roseanne's tweet must have seriously offended ABC executives, and made them worry that the bad press would ultimately sink the network, even if Roseanne continued to draw in big ratings (certainly questionable given the level of bad press the tweet received as well as the slow but steady audience decline over the course of the show's first season). So now, after a huge revival season that reinvigorated interest in the show, Roseanne is now in a worse place than where it left off before it was revived. Reruns have been pulled from all cable networks and streaming services, and a sitcom that was once praised as a thought-provoking, all-time great sitcom has been blacklisted in just the course of a few months.

It will be interesting, then, to see how the networks respond (other than possibly encouraging controversial stars such as Roseanne Barr to stay off of Twitter.) Remake fervor has hit the TV industry hard, and it came to a crescendo with the giant success of the Roseanne remake. But the quick demise of that remake shows the flip-side of what happens when you resurrect old series, and proves that sometimes, things are better left in the past. I think we all would've preferred to look back on Roseanne as a show that was great during the '90s and felt ahead of its time, rather than seeing it marred by the political division and unfortunate end of the revived 10th season. As fun as it can be to catch up with old characters, I'm really hoping this fiasco contributes to TV realizing that the answer to all of its problems isn't by constantly reaching into the past, but rather developing new, fresh series that can carry us into the future.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Netflix will launch the remaining six episodes of the fourth season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on January 25, 2019. The first six episodes of the fourth season launched Wednesday, May 30. Show creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock are executive producers alongside Sam Means, Jeff Richmond and David Miner. Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski and Carol Kane star. To date, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has earned 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including a best series nom for each of its first three seasons.

In Season 4, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), Titus (Tituss Burgess), Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) and Lillian (Carol Kane) are finding new direction in life and career. Kimmy jumps head first into her new job at Giztoob. She's ready to take on anything, except high heels, which she's pretty sure were designed by a man, or a very confused lady. By creating a fake TV show, Titus takes his acting career into his own hands. Which, as always, are covered in maple syrup. As a talent agent working her way up, Jacqueline must deal with clients who are divas, troublemakers, and have no valid social security number. All of these clients are Titus. Lillian continues to "disrupt" and "burst the paradigm," or as it was called in the '70's "general dirtbaggery."


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, December 12

The Goldbergs - "Yippee Ki Yay Melon Farmer" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Much to Beverly’s chagrin, Barry is thrilled that he gets to celebrate Christmas now that he is engaged to Lainey. Meanwhile, Murray’s brother Marvin (Dan Fogler) makes a promise to Adam with a surprising outcome.

American Housewife - "Saving Christmas" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie strives to keep her long-separated parents apart when her father, Marty (Patrick Duffy), arrives in time to surprise the Otto family for Christmas. Anna-Kat does her best to help Trip win Taylor back but has a hard time getting past a very persistent Pierce (Milo Manheim). Meanwhile, Oliver thinks no one will remember him as the mask-wearing villain in the school’s production of “The Nutcracker” but quickly takes center stage when a series of mishaps damages his costume.

Modern Family - "Stuck in a Moment" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Hayley wants to give the family a Christmas gift they will never forget if she can just figure out the perfect time. Meanwhile, Claire is mad that Phil has once again borrowed the family Christmas tree for a house-showing; and Jay, Gloria and Joe have to deal with some unwelcome visitors over the holidays.

Single Parents - "The Magic Box" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Owen shows up unexpectedly on Christmas Eve with a gift for Angie, she desperately seeks out help from Will finding a present for Owen last minute. While doing so, Angie learns how bad Will is at giving Sophie good Christmas presents, or so it seems. While Graham begins to doubt the existence of Santa Claus altogether, the group worries Miggy may still believe in him. Meanwhile, Douglas invites Poppy, who is dealing with her first Christmas without Rory, to compete in a series of cutthroat Christmas-themed competitions.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Wednesday, December 12

  • Brandon Micheal Hall (The Mayor/Search Party) - Watch Brandon on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Anthony Atamanuik (The President Show) - Anthony visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse is a guest on E!'s Busy Tonight at 10pm.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House) and Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/Sydney/One Day at a Time) - Jodie and Valerie guest co-host The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. Jodie also talks about Hallmark Channel's Entertaining Christmas on Access Live and Extra, so check your local listings.
  • Steve Carell (The Office) - Steve appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP/Scream Queens) - Keke is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Dan Bucatinsky (Marry Me/Web Therapy/The Comeback) - Dan talks about Second Act on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Ashley Williams (The Jim Gaffigan Show/How I Met Your Mother/Good Morning, Miami) - Ashley talks about Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Northern Christmas Lights on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Second Act on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


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

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
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
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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