Friday, August 03, 2018

Fri-Yay: What Netflix's First Syndication Deal Can Mean for Sitcoms; TCA Summer 2018 Press Tour: Fox

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!

BoJack Horseman

by Vincent

This week, a minor announcement was made that was quietly a pretty big deal for sitcoms, and yet no one seemed to think much of it. It was announced that starting this fall, Netflix would be re-running Netflix's BoJack Horseman as the show had been sold into syndication, set to begin airing after South Park's upcoming season in September. This might not seem like a big deal to you, and frankly, if you already watch Bojack Horseman on Netflix, chances are you won't be rushing to the TV to catch four year old episodes of the show when the channel begins re-airing Season 1 this week. And yet, this is Netflix's first major syndication deal, which paints a fairly interesting picture for sitcoms going forward.

In the past, syndication has been a major selling point for sitcoms. Re-airing episodes of the series on cable networks has been a major way that studios make money off of television shows, and since sitcoms are shorter and typically not serialized, they were often a popular choice for sitcoms. Many of us who grew up watching older sitcoms that predate us did so because those shows were introduced to us in syndication. Syndication has been a dominant reason as to why sitcoms remain relevant. And yet, with the advent of Netflix and on-demand streaming services, syndication has largely fallen by the wayside, now that so many series can be available at any time. There was a question as to whether Netflix needed syndication – after all, it's already used by so many people, and its episodes are available to begin watching anywhere at any time. And yet, this deal for Bojack Horseman proves there is still a market for syndication, even for Netflix series. It's another way for these shows to remain profitable (after all, since it doesn't rely on ad revenue, it's hard to say exactly how Netflix makes money off of its original programming, although they seem to be doing just fine relying on subscription fees) and it paints a question: is this just the first of many more Netflix syndication deals? There were talks that Arrested Development's creator Mitch Hurwitz wanted the show's Netflix seasons to eventually be packaged into a syndication deal with the series’ original run (hence why the fourth season was re-edited to a more traditional sitcom format rather than its original inventive editing style.) Could other Netflix comedies that seem like a possible fit for syndication, such as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, One Day at a Time, or Fuller House be next? Perhaps we could even see dramas being sold into syndication – it's hard to not see a cable network jumping at the chance to air Orange is the New Black (though it would have to be heavily edited) or Stranger Things. It's an interesting thought, and one that suggests perhaps the end for cable syndication isn't quite here yet after all.


Fox

Fox is up at the 2018 TCA Summer Press Tour and there were plenty of new series announcements for 2018-19, mainly for mid-season or later. And they have ordered the new celebrity competition series The Masked Singer, to premiere in January 2019. Based on an international hit, which already is a viral phenomenon with more than half a billion fans worldwide, and the No. 1 top-trending video of 2017 on YouTube, The Masked Singer features celebrities facing off against one another with one major twist: each singer is shrouded from head to toe in an elaborate costume, complete with full face mask to conceal his or her identity. Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke serve on the panel and play detective, alongside host Nick Cannon. Fox has also ordered Mental Samurai, a thrilling new competition series that pushes every aspect of human intelligence and mental agility. Hosted and produced by Rob Lowe, the show is the first-ever obstacle course...for the mind. Mental Samurai is produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television and Arthur Smith's A. Smith & Co. Productions and is scheduled to premiere during the 2018-2019 season on Fox.

But wait there's more! Fox has ordered Spin the Wheel, a high-stakes game show offering a chance to win over $20 million per episode. Executive-produced by Grammy and Emmy Award-winning musician and actor Justin Timberlake, and hosted by actor, director, writer and comedian Dax Shepard, the show offers life-changing opportunities to win fortunes each episode with the spin of a massive, unpredictable wheel. The show, created by Timberlake and Andrew Glassman of Glassman Media, is scheduled to premiere during the 2018-2019 season on Fox.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, February 18

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to Malcolm's Job" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Tina agrees to give Grover piano lessons and her son Malcolm lands a job in retail sales, neither Butler has a first day that goes quite according to plan.

Man with a Plan - "Put Him on the Ground" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Adam sees a kid push Emme, he convinces Teddy to dish out some old-school justice to defend his younger sister, to Andi’s dismay. Also, Adam and Don persuade Joe to hire a nurse to help out after his upcoming knee surgery. Ron Funches guest stars as Funches, Joe’s home nurse.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 18

Monday, February 18

  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Watch Paul on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years/Truth Be Told) - Mark-Paul visits Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Courteney Cox (Cougar Town/Friends/Family Ties) - Courteney stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Kate Walsh (Bad Judge/The Drew Carey Show) - Kate chats about her new Netflix show The Umbrella Academy on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe is a guest on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris talks about The Enemy Within on the BUILD Series at 3:30pm.


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

Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth 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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest