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

Tuesday, September 18

Fresh Off the Boat - "A Man to Share the Night With" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Michelle Kwan comes in second place at the Olympics, Jessica tries to keep it from Emery and Evan, only to get caught up in an elaborate conspiracy theory that leads them seeking answers from Nancy Kerrigan. Meanwhile, Louis changes Eddie’s bedtime to spend more quality time together watching Letterman, but feels slighted when Eddie spends his newfound free time elsewhere.

Speechless - "A-C-- ACTION" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
JJ’s thrilled when he is chosen by his classmates to film his horror movie project, but soon the pressure of directing gets to him. Meanwhile, Dylan’s class project reveals a family secret; and Jimmy’s suggestions for the neighbor’s house construction project backfires for the DiMeos.

black-ish - "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dre and Bow confront gender biases of their own after finding out that both Junior and Zoey have become sexually active. Meanwhile, Ruby is hurt when she finds out that Jack and Diane have been hanging out with a friend’s grandmother after school.

Splitting Up Together - "Heat Wave" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Lena and Martin choose to share the house for the summer while the children are away at camp despite Lena’s reservations, but both soon realize it might not be the worst idea. Meanwhile, they collectively agree to throw their annual backyard piƱa colada party where they will celebrate their independence from their children. Elsewhere, a friendly face returns back home and Martin can’t help but see it as a sign.

Wrecked - "Ballers" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Attempting to hide from the others during The Hunt, Pack and Jess run into a new threat on the island.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 17)

Tuesday, September 18

  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Catch Queen Latifah on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She also talks about Star on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sally Field (Gidget/The Flying Nun) - Sally chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Alicia Silverstone (American Woman) - Alicia stops by The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jeff Foxworthy (The Jeff Foxworthy Show) - Jeff is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Meagan Good (Cousin Skeeter/Raising Dad) - Meagan talks about her movie A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. on Chatter at 8pm.
  • Brie Larson (United States of Tara) - Brie talks about Captain Marvel on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa talks about Nappily Ever After on GMA Day on ABC at 1pm.
  • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) - Dr. Oz speaks exclusively with the woman whose tweet ignited a media firestorm. They ask the tough questions on everyone’s minds: What was she thinking when she hit “send”? Then, a panel of influencers and experts weigh in on Roseanne Barr’s answers. Is she a racist? Check your local listings for The Dr. Oz Show.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Rosanna Arquette (Sideswiped) - Rosanna talks about her comedy series Sideswiped on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas) - Nick will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill about The Sinner on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Kate Flannery (The Office) and Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Kate and Jane talk about Two Lost Souls on the BUILD Series at 3pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September)

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

08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
08/15 - A.P. Bio - Season One
08/28 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
08/28 - Man Seeking Woman - The Complete Third 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
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