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

Sunday, January 20

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXIX" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer wins an oyster-eating contest against the mythical Cthulhu; Springfield is overrun by plant body-snatchers; Lisa finally snaps; Mr. Burns opens a retirement home with some Jurassic upgrades.

Bob's Burgers - "Live and Let Fly" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The kids seek revenge on their school guidance counselor; they get entangled in sibling rivalry between two pilots; Linda and Bob put their game faces on when Teddy invites them to a paper airplane contest.

Family Guy - "Send in Stewie, Please" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Stewie gets sent to see his school's child psychologist for a surprising session, he reveals major secrets about himself.

The Cool Kids - "Hank the Cradle Robber" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Hank starts dating a much younger woman, the gang suspects she may be taking advantage of him.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 14)

Friday, January 18

  • Maura Tierney (NewsRadio) - Watch Maura on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs) - Elizabeth visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She talks about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andy appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Lily and Jane are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about All These Small Moments on People Now at 12pm.
  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Don talks about Black Monday on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Dave talks about If Beale Street Could Talk on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Adam Pally (Champaign ILL/Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) and Sam Richardson (Champaign ILL/Detroiters/Veep) - Adam and Sam talk about Champaign ILL on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

Step by Step - The Complete Third Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series

11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
11/28 - The Great Indoors - Season 1 (The Complete Series)
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest