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, August 15

The Goldbergs - "Dinner with the Goldbergs" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Erica warns Geoff about going to dinner with her family to celebrate her birthday, but he insists. Upon arrival, it’s apparent this will be no ordinary dinner out: The family changes tables multiple times, Beverly sends her food back, Murray insists Adam order off the children’s menu and Barry wants to change his order, but it’s too late. By evening’s end, Geoff hits his breaking point.

American Housewife - "Midlife Crisis" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Katie takes Oliver out of school for a day to help loosen him up after Oliver suffers from a meltdown about something minor. Meanwhile, Anna-Kat takes Greg to the park to help him make new friends.

Modern Family - "Wine Weekend" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family goes on a wine tasting trip and stays in Haley’s new boss’ country house where the only rule is: Don’t touch the tiara! Meanwhile, Gloria and Mitch are invited to a party at Oprah’s house but can’t bring anyone else.

American Housewife - "All Coupled Up" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Otto children are beginning to experience struggles in their love lives after jumping into the dating world: Oliver is forced to choose between his girlfriend and his friend Cooper who come from two different worlds; Greg must play the “bad cop parent” to halt the PDA between Taylor and Trip; and Anna-Kat tries to make her relationship with Franklin official, without his consent.

Alone Together - "Daypassers" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Benji and Esther snag a day pass to an upscale gym.

Alone Together - "Drama Story" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Benji realizes his former high school hasn't changed.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 13)

Wednesday, August 15

  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/The Tom Show/Tom) - Watch Tom on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerrod Carmichael (the Carmichael Show) - Jerrod stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree/The IT Crowd) - Chris visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He talks about Juliet, Naked on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
  • Regina Hall (Insecure/Grandfathered) - Regina appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat/Victorious) - Ariana is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley) - Jimmy drops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa chats on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jennifer Finnigan (Better with You/Committed/Student Bodies) - Jennifer appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tony Rock (Living Biblically) - Tony appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Ritter (The Class) - Jason is a guest on a repeat of Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Debby Ryan (Insatiable/Jessie/The Suite Life on Deck) - Debby talks about Insatiable's controversies on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) and Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Constance and Ken talk about Crazy Rich Asians on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Rev Run and Justine Simmons (All About the Washingtons) - Rev Run and Justine talk about All About the Washingtons on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Regina King (227) - Regina talks about Seven Seconds on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Melissa Carcache (Every Witch Way) - Melissa talks about her Hallmark Channel original movie Love at Sea on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest