Friday, September 14, 2018

Fri-Yay: A Look at the Upcoming Sitcom Slate; TV Guide's 1st Annual 100 Best Shows List

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 Conners

by Vincent

It's fall (or at least almost fall), which means a few things: cooler weather, pumpkin spice flavored everything, and...a brand new slate of network sitcoms! Now, that was a much more exciting prospect even 5 or 10 years ago. As cable and streaming services have boomed, it feels increasingly less like there's a real "TV season - even the networks themselves aren't always restricting themselves to the old September to May model, with many promising shows being held for mid-season and airing shorter seasons. Yet, the networks will still trot out a whole bunch of new shows this fall. I'll be taking a closer look at each show over the next few weeks, but I thought I'd take this week's column to give my opinion on the overall slate of sitcoms and what shows I'm particularly keeping an eye on.

Last fall was a pretty weak one for new sitcoms, and frankly, this fall isn't all that much better. You can very clearly see the response to the success of the Roseanne reboot in this fall's sitcom slate, as many of the buzziest prospects on networks are actually revivals - from the revived Murphy Brown to the "re-imagined" version of the Roseanne reboot The Conners to the also "revived" Last Man Standing. Expect these shows to get a lot of buzz regardless of quality - especially since, frankly, the rest of the slate is pretty weak. Still, there's a couple of shows I'll be keeping my own. Fox largely destroyed its comedy block at Upfronts this past spring, but it is premiering new series Rel, starring The Carmichael Show's Lil Rel Howery. Howery was a strong part of Carmichael, so it'll be interesting to see him in a new role. I'll also be keeping an eye on ABC's Single Parents, which gets the post-Modern Family slot and stars SNL alum Taran Killam. That suggests it should at least be watchable if ABC is giving it that plum slot, right? Plus, Killam is a great comedic talent who should bring liveliness to the role regardless of the quality of the rest of the show. I'm also interested in NBC's I Feel Bad, which is produced by Amy Poehler and stars Sarayu Blue in her first TV role. It's interesting to see Poehler giving a chance to a fresh voice, and I'll be keeping an eye out. Finally, Fox will be pairing its revived Last Man Standing with The Cool Kids, a multi-camera sitcom about a retirement home...which sort of shows you the audience they'll be courting for their Friday night comedy block. Oh, and CBS is premiering a drama called God Friended Me, about...a podcast host who becomes friends with God. It certainly has the potential to be the most, uh, interesting show of the fall.

Frankly, if you're someone who believes network sitcoms are losing their relevancy, this slate of sitcoms may not change your mind. But I'm an optimist who believes great shows like The Good Place, Superstore and Brooklyn Nine-Nine are proving the network sitcom can still be excellent, so I'll be hoping these shows defy the odds and step up to the plate.


TV Guide 100 Best Shows

TV Guide has launched its first-ever 100 Best Shows list. Ahead of the fall TV season, TV Guide's team of editors and pop culture experts have curated the site's first annual ranking of the best shows available to watch right now. TV Guide's 100 Best Shows ranking focuses on highlighting what the editorial team believes to be the most outstanding shows right now. Eligibility is limited to ongoing shows that have at least one more season slated to air.

The top 10 highest-ranked shows include:

The Good Place (NBC)
Atlanta (FX)
Better Call Saul (AMC)
One Day at a Time (Netflix)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Big Little Lies(HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)
Bob's Burgers (FOX)

Out of all the outlets and streaming services, Netflix racked up the most mentions with 20 shows on the list; HBO followed with 10, and FX had seven. Several TV creators stood out among their peers with more than one show on the list, including Michael Schur (The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag and Killing Eve). TV fans can visit tvguide.com/100BestShows to view the full list, learn more about the featured series, take a personality quiz to recommend their next binge and watch behind-the-scenes footage from the stars of top-ranked shows, including Sterling K. Brown, Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Brian Tyree Henry, Patrick Fabian and more.


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