Friday, August 24, 2018

Fri-Yay: The Big Bang Theory Is Ending - Is the Concept of a Megahit Sitcom Going With It?; Norm Macdonald Has a Show Guests Revealed

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!

The Big Bang Theory

by Vincent

This week, CBS announced that the upcoming season of The Big Bang Theory will be its last. The show, entering its 12th season, will bow out in spring of 2019 after spending nearly the entirety of the 2010s as a ratings dominant sitcom not seen on television since, arguably, the likes of Friends and Seinfeld in the 1990s. It's not a huge surprise that Big Bang is ending - 12 seasons is a long time for a sitcom, and the amount of shows that have surpassed that mark are extremely small. Despite the fact that it continues to enjoy high ratings (it's still the highest-rated sitcom and TV, give or take a Roseanne reboot, and one of the few shows still capable of drawing in over 10 million live viewers weekly) it does create an interesting question for sitcom fans - will The Big Bang Theory be the last "huge" sitcom of our time?

Truthfully, there hasn't been a real heir apparent to Big Bang's throne as sitcom megahit. That's not to say there haven't been hit sitcoms - there have been plenty, from ABC's stable of solid family sitcoms to CBS's consistently strong pieces like Mom and Life in Pieces and even to strong cable and streamer hits like Broad City and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - but The Big Bang Theory's pure ratings could actually stand up to shows like Friends, Seinfeld and Cheers at their peak, particularly when taking into account the decline of live viewing. Whether or not you feel Big Bang's cultural impact matches those shows, there's no doubt it was a massive, massive hit, and there's going to be quite a gap in CBS's sitcom line-up and network television in general after it leaves. The Roseanne reboot obviously seemed to have potential to fill its shoes, but that's gone now and there's no telling if The Conners will see similarly big ratings. Some might peg the Big Bang spin-off Young Sheldon as a possible strong follow-up - it had a really big debut season - but it'll be interesting to see if it can hold up with its mothership off the air. And even though Big Bang enjoyed huge ratings, one could even argue that its cultural impact has been outshined by less huge but buzzier shows this decade like Parks and Recreation or Modern Family. Nevertheless, Big Bang ending feels like a big moment for sitcoms, and we'll just have to see if anything's capable of taking over its dominance.


Norm Macdonald Has a Show

Norm Macdonald Has a Show features host Norm Macdonald along with his trusty sidekick, Adam Eget, as they dive into hilarious and unexpected conversations with celebrity guests. The premiere season of the talk series welcomes Drew Barrymore, David Spade, Judge Judy, David Letterman, Jane Fonda, Chevy Chase, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Keaton, Billy Joe Shaver and Lorne Michaels. Norm Macdonald Has a Show premieres Friday, September 14 on Netflix. David Letterman serves as location scout. Filmed on location at Sunset Bronson Studios in Los Angeles, Norm Macdonald Has a Show is produced under Norm's production banner, Anchor Spud Productions, along with Pygmy Wolf Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. 10 half-hour episodes have been ordered and all episodes debut all at once.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, March 22

Fresh Off the Boat - "Vice Mommy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessica starts her college classes, leaving Evan in charge at home as “vice mommy.” But the transition doesn’t go smoothly, either for her starting school again or with Evan taking over the reins of the Huang household. Eddie and Louis run into conflict when Eddie just wants his dad to treat him as an employee, and not a son, at Cattleman’s Ranch.

Speechless - "P-R-O-M-P--PROMPOSAL" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Outraged that JJ’s girlfriend, Izzy, declines his invitation to prom, Dylan and Ray swing for the fences with a bold plan to make her jealous. Jimmy, Kenneth and Melanie coach Maya through accepting criticism for the good of her company, and one of the DiMeos takes a big step into a new life.

Last Man Standing - "The Passion of Paul" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Rev. Paul calls on Mike to teach Sunday school, Mike calls on Kyle to take his place.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Ups Her Game" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret tries to date the hottest guy in Shady Meadows but can't seem to rid herself of Leonard.

Sydney to the Max - "You've Got Female" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sydney organizes a school protest for clubs to be more inclusive of women; young Max befriends a skater girl, but is conflicted because the Dog Boys don't allow girls in their crew.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 18)

Friday, March 22

  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends/Vinnie & Bobby) - Watch Matt on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Illana Glazer (Broad City) - Illana is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Pamela Adlon (Better Things/King of the Hill/The Facts of Life) - Pamela appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • J. K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher/Family Tools) - J. K. is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Cobie Smulders (Friends from College/How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies) - Stephen is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing Houe/Gary Unmarried) - Keegan-Michael visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Piper Perabo (Turn Up Charlie) - Piper is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Casey Wilson (Black Monday/Marry Me/Happy Endings) - Casey talks about Black Monday on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Natalie Morales (Abby's/The Grinder/Trophy Wife/Parks and Recreation) - Natalie appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark talks about Knightfall on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Tony Danza (Taxi/Who's the Boss?/Hudston Street/The Tony Danza Show) - Tony performs on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Maddie Corman (Mr. President/All-American Girl) - Maddie talks about the play Accidentally Brave on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti will be on Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February/March)

Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season

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
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
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