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

Sunday, January 20

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXIX" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer wins an oyster-eating contest against the mythical Cthulhu; Springfield is overrun by plant body-snatchers; Lisa finally snaps; Mr. Burns opens a retirement home with some Jurassic upgrades.

Bob's Burgers - "Live and Let Fly" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The kids seek revenge on their school guidance counselor; they get entangled in sibling rivalry between two pilots; Linda and Bob put their game faces on when Teddy invites them to a paper airplane contest.

Family Guy - "Send in Stewie, Please" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Stewie gets sent to see his school's child psychologist for a surprising session, he reveals major secrets about himself.

The Cool Kids - "Hank the Cradle Robber" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Hank starts dating a much younger woman, the gang suspects she may be taking advantage of him.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 14)

Friday, January 18

  • Maura Tierney (NewsRadio) - Watch Maura on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs) - Elizabeth visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She talks about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andy appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Lily and Jane are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about All These Small Moments on People Now at 12pm.
  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Don talks about Black Monday on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Dave talks about If Beale Street Could Talk on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Adam Pally (Champaign ILL/Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) and Sam Richardson (Champaign ILL/Detroiters/Veep) - Adam and Sam talk about Champaign ILL on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

Step by Step - The Complete Third Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series

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
11/28 - The Great Indoors - Season 1 (The Complete Series)
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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
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