Friday, August 23, 2019

Fri-Yay: Fall Sitcom Slate Check-In: ABC; Antenna TV Acquires The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes, Who's the Boss? and More

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!

mixed-ish

by Vincent

ABC is next up in our check-in of returning sitcom slates. ABC has been a big center of family comedies in recent years, and that mostly continues in 2019-2020. Let's jump into their line-up:

Returning sitcoms: ABC's solid block of family sitcoms are all returning, from Modern Family to The Goldbergs to The Conners to black-ish to Fresh Off the Boat. The big change, though, will be coming after this TV season, as the upcoming 11th season will be the final season of Modern Family. Just as CBS is scrambling to find its Big Bang replacement, ABC is likely doing the same thing with Modern Family - with the big caveat that ABC does have The Conners, which actually rated higher than Modern last season and is returning as the network's biggest ratings hit. Whether The Conners will be able to keep its strong Season 1 numbers now that we're fairly far removed from the Roseanne situation and hype is certainly a question, but even if it can maintain half of its Season 1 audience, it'll be a big hit for the network. Otherwise, except more of the same from the anchor sitcoms - The Goldbergs and black-ish continue to be strong tentpoles, Fresh Off the Boat is holding down the fort on Fridays, and promising sophomores Bless This Mess, Single Parents and Schooled are also back on the line-up hoping to build on their respectable Season 1 showings. The only real downgrade is American Housewife, which gets bumped to Fridays after just a so-so rated third season last year.

New sitcoms: There's only one new sitcom on ABC's fall schedule, the black-ish spin off mixed-ish, which follows Rainbow's upbringing. First spinoff grown-ish has been a fairly strong hit for Freeform, so it makes sense that ABC is continuing to build off the solid black-ish brand. Still, it's somewhat surprising to not see more new comedies, but I guess ABC is thinking "if it's not broke, don't fix it." Though ABC does have multi-camera sitcom United We Fall waiting in the wings for mid-season that could be a potential companion for The Conners.

The bottom line: ABC is probably in the best place sitcom-wise of all four networks. They have a really strong core of anchors and enough solid performers to fill two and a half entire blocks and not have any real weak spots. It says a lot that ABC felt they could essentially bring back their entire slate last season and not have to add many new pieces. Yes, there are some questions - will The Conners be as big in Season 2 as Season 1? Is anything being set up to take over for Modern Family? Can the modest sophomore hits like Bless This Mess, Single Parents and Schooled step up and become anchors in their second season the way shows like The Goldbergs and black-ish were eventually able to? Those are questions that will eventually have to be answered, but for now, things are good in sitcom land at ABC.


Antenna TV

Antenna TV, Tribune Broadcasting's multicast network, announced the addition of five classic series to the network's 2020 lineup, with four sitcoms starting in January 2020 and one in Fall 2020. Antenna TV, which airs in 136 TV markets across the U.S. reaching 89% of TV households, continues to aggressively invest in programming acquisitions. Beginning in January 2020, Antenna TV will add The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes, Designing Women and NewsRadio. In Fall 2020, Who's the Boss? will join the lineup. All five series come from Sony Pictures Television and originally aired in the late '70s through late '90s. Diff'rent Strokes and NewsRadio are returning to Antenna TV in new deals, while The Facts of Life, Designing Women and Who's the Boss? are brand new to Antenna TV! Both Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life are currently airing on MeTV, but will migrate over to Antenna TV by Jan. 2020. Designing Women was last seen on getTV, while NewsRadio hasn't aired since Antenna TV last aired it and Who's the Boss? is coming to a multicast network for the first time.


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

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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
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03/31 - CBS Renews Young Sheldon for 3 More Seasons; DWTS Returns for Season 30 This Fall
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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)
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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
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03/15 - Disney Channel Orders Pilot Produced by Marsai Martin; HBO Max Revives Tattletales
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