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, November 20

The Conners - "Miracles" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Life-changing news lands in the Conner household when a member of the family makes an announcement that no one saw coming. Meanwhile, Dan is suspicious that Becky isn’t sticking to her end of the deal when it comes to her drinking. Darlene continues her job search, and Jackie offers English lessons to a Casita Bonita busboy in need.

The Kids Are Alright - "Boxing" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Frank announces that he has decided to compete in the church boxing tournament, making it obvious that he’s playing for Mike’s affections. When Frank can’t cut it, Timmy steps in and takes up boxing in order to bond with his dad and get his approval. Ultimately, he has to choose between his dad’s dreams for him and his own dreams of showbiz glory. Elsewhere, feeling rusty after being at the seminary for so long, Lawrence asks Eddie to help prepare him for a date by taking him on a “practice date”.

black-ish - "Good Grief" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bow’s mom, Alicia, visits the family for the first time since the loss of Bow’s dad, and she is still heavily grieving. Bow decides to throw a big luau-themed party for what would have been her dad’s next birthday. Meanwhile, Mason has an extra ticket to an MMA fight and invites Diane on the same night as the party.

Splitting Up Together - "Yes, Deer" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Vlad, the new contractor for the house, arrives with his crew and Lena immediately begins to clash with him over his methods of repairing the house. Martin, on the other hand, feels that Lena should let them do what they were hired to do. After overhearing that she’s too uptight, Lena calls up an old friend to help her let out her frustrations. Elsewhere, Martin takes Mason camping to help him get over his breakup with Hazel and to teach him how to be a man, only to learn from him that it is okay to express his emotions.

The Guest Book - "Invisible Son" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Clem asks a stripper to pretend to be his girlfriend in order to convince his vacationing family that he is normal; once they get to Barefeet Retreat, it is discovered that Clem's fake girlfriend isn't the only thing he's been lying about.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 19)

Tuesday, November 20

  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Catch Michael on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method) - Michael visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Judy Greer (Kidding/Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) - Judy appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place) - D'Arcy stops by E!'s Busy Tonight at 10pm.
  • Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) - Candice chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jenifer Lewis (black-ish/The PJs) - Jenifer is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/Sydney/One Day at a Time) - Valerie guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Patti talks about Christmas Everlasting on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan (check your listings) and on People Now at 12pm.
  • Mario Cantone (Sex and the City) - Mario stops by The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Jane is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Tatyana Ali (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Second Generation Wayans) - Tatyana talks about Christmas Everlasting on People Now at 12pm.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Tisha Campbell-Martin (Dr. Ken/Rita Rocks/My Wife and Kids/Martin) and Tichina Arnold (The Neighborhood/Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Tisha and Tichina talk about BET Presents: 2018 Soul Train Awards on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm. They also talk about The Neighborhood on the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Alicia Witt (Cybill) and Colin Ferguson (Then Came You) - Alicia and Colin talk about their Hallmark Movies & Mysteries original Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest