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, September 18

Fresh Off the Boat - "A Man to Share the Night With" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Michelle Kwan comes in second place at the Olympics, Jessica tries to keep it from Emery and Evan, only to get caught up in an elaborate conspiracy theory that leads them seeking answers from Nancy Kerrigan. Meanwhile, Louis changes Eddie’s bedtime to spend more quality time together watching Letterman, but feels slighted when Eddie spends his newfound free time elsewhere.

Speechless - "A-C-- ACTION" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
JJ’s thrilled when he is chosen by his classmates to film his horror movie project, but soon the pressure of directing gets to him. Meanwhile, Dylan’s class project reveals a family secret; and Jimmy’s suggestions for the neighbor’s house construction project backfires for the DiMeos.

black-ish - "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dre and Bow confront gender biases of their own after finding out that both Junior and Zoey have become sexually active. Meanwhile, Ruby is hurt when she finds out that Jack and Diane have been hanging out with a friend’s grandmother after school.

Splitting Up Together - "Heat Wave" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Lena and Martin choose to share the house for the summer while the children are away at camp despite Lena’s reservations, but both soon realize it might not be the worst idea. Meanwhile, they collectively agree to throw their annual backyard piƱa colada party where they will celebrate their independence from their children. Elsewhere, a friendly face returns back home and Martin can’t help but see it as a sign.

Wrecked - "Ballers" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Attempting to hide from the others during The Hunt, Pack and Jess run into a new threat on the island.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 17)

Tuesday, September 18

  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Catch Queen Latifah on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She also talks about Star on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Sally Field (Gidget/The Flying Nun) - Sally chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Alicia Silverstone (American Woman) - Alicia stops by The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jeff Foxworthy (The Jeff Foxworthy Show) - Jeff is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Meagan Good (Cousin Skeeter/Raising Dad) - Meagan talks about her movie A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. on Chatter at 8pm.
  • Brie Larson (United States of Tara) - Brie talks about Captain Marvel on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa talks about Nappily Ever After on GMA Day on ABC at 1pm.
  • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) - Dr. Oz speaks exclusively with the woman whose tweet ignited a media firestorm. They ask the tough questions on everyone’s minds: What was she thinking when she hit “send”? Then, a panel of influencers and experts weigh in on Roseanne Barr’s answers. Is she a racist? Check your local listings for The Dr. Oz Show.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Rosanna Arquette (Sideswiped) - Rosanna talks about her comedy series Sideswiped on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas) - Nick will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill about The Sinner on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Kate Flannery (The Office) and Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Kate and Jane talk about Two Lost Souls on the BUILD Series at 3pm.


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

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

08/07 - Happy Endings - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
08/15 - A.P. Bio - Season One
08/28 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Five
08/28 - Man Seeking Woman - The Complete Third 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
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