Friday, July 27, 2018

Fri-Yay: What Direction Are Sitcoms Headed In?; REELZ Fall 2018 Slate Includes John Ritter Special

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 Good Place

by Vincent

In my last column, I discussed sitcom's past, and which decade represented the best that sitcoms had to offer. In this column, I'll be taking a look at where I think sitcoms are headed as we head towards the end of the 2010s into a new decade.

If we look back at the 2010s as a decade for sitcoms, you'll notice that, with the exception of The Big Bang Theory (which is the decade's most popular sitcom for sure but almost seems at odds with the rest of the most popular sitcoms of the decade), single-camera sitcoms were dominant. The decade was defined by shows like Modern Family and Parks and Recreation - and, when these shows premiered, their single-camera mockumentary format was inventive and fresh. Now, however, we've seen that format become somewhat overplayed and fall in popularity. The most popular and acclaimed sitcoms of the current moment are shows like Superstore, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place. These shows are still single-camera, but - while being unique for other reasons - are a bit more traditional in their storytelling format. However, these shows all have very unique, well-defined characters and fast-paced humor, so I would expect that to continue in the near future.

An interesting question mark is whether multi-camera sitcoms will make a comeback. The format has been slowly dying out, and seems to have hit its lowest point this decade - after single-cams began growing in popularity in the 2000s, the 2010s ramped up their production of them, particularly after shows like The Office and Modern Family became big hits, proving that single-camera sitcoms weren't just a niche trend, but something that could be transported to large audiences. CBS has really struggled to replace its multi-cam massive hit The Big Bang Theory with a similar replacement - most of their attempts to find "the next Big Bang Theory" have either started strong but wound up disappointing (such as 2 Broke Girls), completely misfired altogether (such as Kevin Can Wait). They found some success with the consistently solid performer Mom, but it's never quite been the giant hit CBS likely would want it to be. It's pretty telling that CBS's spin-off of Big Bang is actually a single-cam rather than a multi-cam. However, the revival of Roseanne, even with all of its controversy, may prove to be a turning point in favor of multi-camera sitcoms. Networks are desperate to find a show that appeals to wide audiences as much as the Roseanne reboot did without the political controversy, and considering how many viewers tuned into the multi-camera Roseanne reboot, a multi-camera sitcom could be the trick. Add that to the fact that Netflix's One Day at a Time and NBC's canceled but beloved The Carmichael Show have found a lot of fan and critical love, and the tides may be turning towards multi-camera sitcoms once again. So could the 2020s see a move back towards more traditional sitcoms? It's certainly possible, but I'd say that we should still expect the expiration of the 2000s and 2010s to continue - a balance of both, though, presents an interesting future for the sitcom.


Behind Closed Doors

REELZ announced its fall 2018 programming slate including new series, new specials, new episodes of returning series and the Stand Up To Cancer fundraising telecast airing for the first time on the network. Of note for us is their Behind Closed Doors specials. Every so often a star leaves an everlasting mark on culture and entertainment creating household names with stories that enthrall the public. This is especially true with the stories of John Ritter and Paul Walker who are the focus of two new Behind Closed Doors specials hosted by Natalie Morales. Rounding out the new specials is Casey Anthony showing viewers her shocking tale as told through unprecedented access to Anthony's inner circle and the law enforcement officials who worked the case.

Behind Closed Doors (New John Ritter episode premieres Saturday, September 8 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT)- Behind Closed Doors original documentary specials hosted by Natalie Morales return with new episodes about the life and legacy of Three's Company star John Ritter and an intimate look at The Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker's life cut short by tragedy. Behind Closed Doors examines the lives of beloved celebrities utilizing the vast offerings of NBC News historical archives including rarely seen footage and revealing interviews with the celebrities themselves along with fresh interviews from those who knew or worked with them. Behind Closed Doors specials are produced by NBC News' Peacock Productions.

John Ritter: Behind Closed Doors premieres Saturday, September 8 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. As Jack Tripper on Three's Company, John Ritter established himself as one of the most gifted comedians of a generation, launching a prolific career in television and movies that would make him one of America's most beloved stars. But for a man so brilliant in comedy it was the tragedy of an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm that would cut his life short at just 54 years old. Through personal stories told by his closest friends and co-stars including Suzanne Somers, Joyce DeWitt, Henry Winkler, Peter Bogdanovich, Jimmy Kimmel and Kaley Cuoco, John Ritter: Behind Closed Doors reveals the generous spirit behind Ritter's undeniable talent, his legacy of laughter and his family's determination to save lives by raising awareness of the condition that caused his death. Paul Walker: Behind Closed Doors premieres Sunday, November 25 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. The Casey Anthony new documentary special premieres Sunday, December 9 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, December 1

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 30)

Tuesday, December 1

  • John Mulaney (Mulaney) - Catch John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years/Trial & Error) - John is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Leslie Odom Jr. (Central Park/Big Day) - Leslie appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) and Ben Falcone (Nobodies/Joey) - Melissa and Ben are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. They also talk about their new movie Superintelligence on E!'s Daily Pop at 11am.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Billy Gardell (Bob Hearts Abishola/Mike & Molly/Yes, Dear) - Billy will be on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Fam/Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Patricia Heaton (Carol's Second Act/The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia talks about Your Second Act on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ron Howard (The Andy Griffith Show/Happy Days/Arrested Development) - Ron talks about Hillbilly Elegy on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Missy Piggy and Kermit the Frog (The Muppets) - Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog teach the hosts how to do vocal warmups from their appearance this week on The Disney Holiday Singalong on E!'s Daily Pop at 11am.


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

Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season Mom - The Complete Seventh Season The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

09/01 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 14
09/01 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete Second Season
09/01 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
09/15 - Mom - The Complete Seventh Season
09/15 - South Side - Season 1
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Second Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Third Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Fourth Season
09/22 - Man with a Plan - Season Three
09/29 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
10/13 - The Jetsons - The Complete Series (Diamond Collection)
10/13 - Our Cartoon President - Season Two
10/23 - Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
11/10 - Letterkenny - Seasons 5 & 6
11/10 - The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/10 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection
11/17 - Carol's Second Act - The Complete Series
11/17 - Robbie - Season 1
11/24 - Corporate - Season 1
12/01 - The Neighborhood - Season Two
12/15 - Avenue 5 - The Complete First Season

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

12/01 - Pluto TV Launches The Price Is Right: The Bob Barker Era Channel; A Very Merry MeTV Every Sunday on MeTV
11/30 - SNL Hosts for December Announced; JEOPARDY! Announces Final Week of Alex Trebek Episodes Then Ken Jennings Guest Host Week
11/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 30, 2020)
11/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: One Day at a Time Comes to an End (Again); SNL Lines Up December Hosts
11/27 - Young Sheldon Starts on Nick at Nite on Monday; Pluto TV Adds 6 More Classic TV Channels
11/26 - 2020 Thanksgiving TV Marathons on TV This Holiday Weekend
11/25 - HBO Max Comedy Search Party Brings Out the Guest Stars; CW Seed Reunites CW 90210 Series
11/24 - Catch Last Season's Holiday Sitcom The Moodys Before Season 2; Tiffani Thiessen Hosting Deliciousness, Spin-off of Ridiculousness
11/23 - ABC Announces Midseason 2021 Scripted Premieres; NBC Announces January and February 2021 Schedule
11/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 23, 2020)
11/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Sets Premiere Date for Mr. Mayor; New Version of Name That Tune in the Works at Fox
11/20 - Fri-Yay: Thoughts on Fresh Prince Reunion on HBO Max; Nick at Nite Renews Friends in Multi-Year Deal
11/19 - PBS to Air A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas; Cybill Shepherd Gets Showtime Comedy Pilot
11/18 - Hulu Orders Second Season of Woke; HBO Max Gets Conan Variety Series, While Conan Ends on TBS in June 2021
11/17 - COZI TV Thanksgiving and Christmas Marathons; Stream 65 Full Episodes of The Carol Burnett Show Unedited
11/16 - Antenna TV Holiday 2020 Stunts and Marathons; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Premieres This Thursday!
11/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 16, 2020)
11/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Preview Released; Peacock Launches Saved by the Bell Channel
11/13 - Fri-Yay: Any Hope Left for Broadcast Sitcom Ratings?; BET Presents CBS Monday Series Tonight; BUZZR Remembers Alex Trebek Tomorrow
11/12 - CBS Orders New Chuck Lorre Comedy to Series; MeTV and Game Show Network to Remember Alex Trebek
11/11 - Fox Announces Winter Premiere Dates for New and Returning Series; ABC Announces Early 2021 Unscripted Premiere Dates
11/10 - ABC Orders Celebrity Wheel of Fortune; Turner Networks Celebrate Thanksgiving to the HBO Max
11/09 - Remembering Alex Trebek; Decades Changes Schedule in December with The Odd Couple and The Love Boat Added
11/08 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 9, 2020)
11/07 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Jeopardy GOATS to Return in New Version of The Chase; Holly Robinson Peete Joins American Housewife Cast
11/06 - Fri-Yay: Superstore Tackles the Pandemic in a Smart, Funny Way; Family Ties Cast to Reunite
11/05 - Dave Chappelle Returns to SNL for Post Election Episode; Remembering Writer Jeremy Stevens of Everybody Loves Raymond
11/04 - Showtime's Moonbase 8 Gets Early Release Online; Lark Voorhies to Appear on Peacock's Saved by the Bell
11/03 - NBC Pulls Connecting... From Lineup; Fox Says The Great North to Air in February
11/02 - Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas Schedule for 2020; HBO Max Licenses Comedy Central Library in Streaming Deal
11/01 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 2, 2020)