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

Tuesday, October 16

The Conners - "Keep on Truckin'" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before.

The Kids Are Alright - "Pilot" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Lawrence, the prodigal eldest Cleary son, returns home from the seminary and breaks the news to his family that he’s dropping out for good, leaving Mike and Peggy upset and wondering why. Meanwhile, Timmy decides he wants to audition for a children’s theatre production but when Peggy finds out where it’s being held she forbids him from participating. Elsewhere, Eddie tries to keep his girlfriend a secret after Frank finds out and tries to blackmail him.

black-ish - "Gap Year" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After dropping Junior off at college, Dre and Bow are beside themselves when they find him back at home announcing his decision to take a gap year. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane begin to question whether they should still be sharing a room.

Splitting Up Together - "Sign Language" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The morning after Lena and Martin sleep together, Lena searches for signs that they are or aren’t meant to be a couple. Their relationship is put to the test after she organizes a romantic beach getaway and it becomes apparent what’s meant to be. Meanwhile, Arthur and Camille trail Lisa Apple, hoping to determine if she is pregnant with Martin’s baby. Elsewhere, Maya struggles to decide if she should tell her new boyfriend, Frank, about her pregnancy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 15)

Tuesday, October 16

  • John Krasinski (The Office) - Catch John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa drops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also talks about Can You Ever Forgive Me? on the BUILD Series at 12pm.
  • Jane Curtin (3rd Rock from the Sun/Kate & Allie) - Jane visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Laurence Fishburne (black-ish) - Laurence chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Nathan Fillion (Two Guys and a Girl) - Nathan talks about The Rookie on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Katy Mixon (American Housewife/Mike & Molly) - Katy is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Sara Gilbert (The Conners/Roseanne/Bad Teacher/The Big Bang Theory and John Goodman (The Connners/Roseanne/The Trouble in Normal, Ohio) - Sara and John are guests on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John appears on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Heather Dubrow (Stark Raving Mad) - Heather is a guest on People Now at 12pm.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace visits NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced/The Nanny/Living with Fran) - Fran talks about hosting Cancer Scchmancer's Master Class Health Summit on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Analeigh Tipton (Manhattan Love Story) - Analeigh talks about her movie Better Start Running on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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