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, August 14

Younger - "Girls on the Side" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Liza is distressed when she meets Caitlin’s middle-aged boyfriend. Diana refuses to back down from a challenge. Josh rebrands.

Teachers - "Hot Deadly Dad" (TV Land, 10:34PM ET/PT)
Ms. Snap convinces Ms. Bennigan that Hot Dad is a serial killer who is still at large in Chicago. Ms. Watson attempts to teach her “dirtbag” student to be upper class, while Ms. Cannon wears leggings that leave little to the imagination.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 13)

Tuesday, August 14

  • Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Girlfriends) - Catch Tracee on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rhea Seehorn (Whitney/I'm with Her) - Rhea visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also talks about Better Call Saul on the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe is a guest on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Anne Heche (Save Me/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Anne appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Meagan Good (Cousin Skeeter/Raising Dad) - Meagan is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jay Ellis (Insecure/The Game) - Jay appears on a repeat The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/The Tom Show/Tom) -
  • Colin Ferguson (You're the Worst/Coupling) - Colin guest co-hosts Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Melora Hardin (The Office) - Melora talks about The Bold Type on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Emeril Lagasse (Emeril) - Emeril makes blue-cheese-stuffed burgers on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali gives relationship advice on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) and Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Constance and Ken talk about Crazy Rich Asians on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick talks about Operation Finale on the BUILD Series at 3pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest