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

Tuesday, October 16

The Conners - "Keep on Truckin'" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A sudden turn of events forces the Conners to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before.

The Kids Are Alright - "Pilot" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Lawrence, the prodigal eldest Cleary son, returns home from the seminary and breaks the news to his family that he’s dropping out for good, leaving Mike and Peggy upset and wondering why. Meanwhile, Timmy decides he wants to audition for a children’s theatre production but when Peggy finds out where it’s being held she forbids him from participating. Elsewhere, Eddie tries to keep his girlfriend a secret after Frank finds out and tries to blackmail him.

black-ish - "Gap Year" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After dropping Junior off at college, Dre and Bow are beside themselves when they find him back at home announcing his decision to take a gap year. Meanwhile, Jack and Diane begin to question whether they should still be sharing a room.

Splitting Up Together - "Sign Language" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The morning after Lena and Martin sleep together, Lena searches for signs that they are or aren’t meant to be a couple. Their relationship is put to the test after she organizes a romantic beach getaway and it becomes apparent what’s meant to be. Meanwhile, Arthur and Camille trail Lisa Apple, hoping to determine if she is pregnant with Martin’s baby. Elsewhere, Maya struggles to decide if she should tell her new boyfriend, Frank, about her pregnancy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 15)

Tuesday, October 16

  • John Krasinski (The Office) - Catch John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa drops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm. She also talks about Can You Ever Forgive Me? on the BUILD Series at 12pm.
  • Jane Curtin (3rd Rock from the Sun/Kate & Allie) - Jane visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Laurence Fishburne (black-ish) - Laurence chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Nathan Fillion (Two Guys and a Girl) - Nathan talks about The Rookie on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Katy Mixon (American Housewife/Mike & Molly) - Katy is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Sara Gilbert (The Conners/Roseanne/Bad Teacher/The Big Bang Theory and John Goodman (The Connners/Roseanne/The Trouble in Normal, Ohio) - Sara and John are guests on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John appears on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Heather Dubrow (Stark Raving Mad) - Heather is a guest on People Now at 12pm.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace visits NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced/The Nanny/Living with Fran) - Fran talks about hosting Cancer Scchmancer's Master Class Health Summit on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Analeigh Tipton (Manhattan Love Story) - Analeigh talks about her movie Better Start Running on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


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

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

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
10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest