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

Wednesday, April 14

The Goldbergs - "Who's Afraid of Bree Bea?" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After realizing there may be trouble in lovers’ paradise for Erica and Geoff, Beverly involves herself in their relationship as well as Barry and Joanne’s to make sure everyone stays together. Meanwhile, Adam and Brea are cast opposite of each other in the school play, but their excitement for one another’s success grows dim when one starts to outshine the other onstage.

Home Economics - "Mermaid Taffeta Wedding Dress, $1,999" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The Hayworth family is invited to the wedding of longtime family friend Spags. When Connor enlists Tom’s help to write and re-write a wedding toast, things take an unexpected turn between the brothers. Sarah realizes Denise is upset they never had a real wedding, while Marina meticulously plans her drinking schedule for a night out without the kids.

The Conners - "Regrets, Rehabs and Realtors" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dan encounters a surprise visitor who shares some unsolicited advice, leaving him feeling guilty. Meanwhile, Darlene welcomes a new employee to Wellman Plastics.

Call Your Mother - "The Prime of Miss Jean Raines" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Before Sharon leaves town, she and Jean decide to plan a trip to Vegas. Meanwhile, Celia and Freddie have a serious conversation about whether or not they want kids.

United States of Al - "Pilot" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Marine veteran Riley, home at last after serving in Afghanistan, is happily reunited with his friend Awalmir, who goes by Al, the interpreter with his unit, after a long struggle to get him a visa to travel to the United States from Afghanistan.

United States of Al - "Repair/Tarmim" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Al uses his skills as a translator to try and repair the tense relationship between Riley and his estranged wife, Vanessa. Also, Lizzie is heartbroken when she is at a party and loses her late fiancĂ©’s dog tags.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 12)

Wednesday, April 14

  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Watch Terry on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) - Mary is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Margaret Cho (All-Americna Girl) - Margaret will be on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Topher Grace (Home Economics/That '70s Show) - Topher chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Dylan McDermott (No Activity/LA to Vegas) - Dylan appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jonh Corbett (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll/United States of Tara) - John talks about Rebel on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Jason Biggs (Outmatched/Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Jason will be on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kyra Sedgwick (Call Your Mother) - Kyra appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Emma Kenney (The Conners/Roseanne) - Emma talks about Shameless on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole talks about Netflix's Nailed It and TBS' Wipeout on Access Daily, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January-April)

Corporate - Season 2 Fam - The Complete Series Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series Til Death - The Complete Series

01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

04/13 - NBC Schedules Peyton Manning Game Show; Apple TV+ Comedy Mythic Quest Returns in May
04/12 - The Price Is Right at Night Welcomes Two Funny Celebs; Peacock Comedy Girls5eva Premieres May 6
04/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 12, 2021)
04/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Nash Bridges Reprisal in the Works?; Season Finale Dates Set for Last Man Standing and MacGyver
04/09 - Fri-Yay: Fox Cancels Bless the Harts, Leaving Questions About Animated Block; Variety and Lifetime Presents Power of Women Comedians
04/08 - ABC Summer 2021 Schedule; Fox Summer 2021 Schedule
04/07 - MeTV Spring 2021 with The Addams Family and The Pink Panther; Fox Orders More Duncanville, While ABC Goes Into the Wild with Comedy
04/06 - HBO Max Announces Minx, Set in the 1970s; Remembering Gloria Henry of Dennis the Menace
04/05 - Head of the Class Reboot Cast and Info; Tia Mowry Expands with New Cookbook
04/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 5, 2021)
04/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Head of the Class Reboot Ordered at HBO Max; Friends Reunion Special Finally Happening
04/02 - Fri-Yay: Remembering Jessica Walter's Excellent Career; Fox's Let's Be Real Special Turns Into Series
04/01 - CSI Revived by CBS for Sequel Series in 2021-22 Season; NBC Orders Ordinary Joe for Next Season
03/31 - CBS Renews Young Sheldon for 3 More Seasons; DWTS Returns for Season 30 This Fall
03/30 - Amazon Starts Production on Being the Ricardos, An I Love Lucy Movie; NBC Schedules Lil Rel Game Show
03/29 - Antenna TV Spring 2021 Schedule; Eric Stonestreet to Host Fox Series
03/28 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 29, 2021)
03/27 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Don Cheadle to Narrate Wonder Years Reboot; Sharon Osbourne Out at The Talk
03/26 - Fri-Yay: Superstore Series Finale; Remembering Jessica Walter of Arrested Development and Richard Gilliland of Designing Women
03/25 - New Weekly Celebrity Sleepover Talk Show After SNL; Raven-Symoné Heads to HGTV Series
03/24 - Remembering George Segal, Pops from The Goldbergs; HBO Max Comedy Series Made for Love Drops April 1
03/23 - Mr. Mayor Returning for Season 2; CBS 2020-21 Season Finale Dates
03/22 - NBC Puts Meghan Trainor Comedy in Development; Apple TV+ Straight to Series Comedy with Maya Rudolph
03/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 22, 2021)
03/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: James Burrows to Direct Pilot for ABC Comedy Starring Alec Baldwin and Kelsey Grammer; Carl Reiner's Archives Find a Home
03/19 - Fri-Yay: Evaluating the 2020-2021 Freshman Sitcom Class; Damon Wayans Jr. to Star in TBS Pilot Kill the Orange-Faced Bear
03/18 - Younger Final Season Premiere Date Announced; Mindy Kaling, Henry Winkler Join Monsters, Inc. Disney+ Series
03/17 - Peacock Comedy Rutherford Falls Premieres April 22; Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law Spin-off Series Slated for April
03/16 - HBO Orders 2-Part Documentary on Paul Reubens; Netflix Announces Date for 2nd Season of Special
03/15 - Disney Channel Orders Pilot Produced by Marsai Martin; HBO Max Revives Tattletales
03/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 15, 2021)
03/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: America Ferrera to Return for Superstore Finale; Kaley Cuoco Set to Play Role of Doris Day