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

Monday, June 18

Mom - "Charlotte Brontë and a Backhoe" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bonnie locks horns with Jill’s “inner strength” coach, Miranda (Kristin Chenoweth). Also, Christy struggles to bounce back after being rejected from law school.

Man with a Plan - "Battle of the Sexists" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Adam and Andi try to get back in their neighbors’ good graces after no one shows up to their potluck.

Andi Mack - "Truth or Truth" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the power goes out in Shadyside, a day of fun and games sheds light on unexpected revelations.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Monday, June 18

  • Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts) - Watch Jermaine on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway (Rhythm & Blues) - Vanessa is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Bianca Lawson (Goode Behavior/Saved by the Bell: The New Class) - Bianca is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Heather Dubrow (Stark Raving Mad) - Heather drops by Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy/Working Class/Reba) - Melissa guest co-hosts Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim talks about Hotel Transylvania 3 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Craig T. Nelson (Coach) - Craig cooks with Clinton Kelly on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Katie O'Brien and Katy Colloton (Teachers) - Katie and Katy talk about Teachers on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest