Friday, August 30, 2019

Fri-Yay: Fall Sitcom Slate Check-In: NBC; Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween 2019 Schedule

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!

Sunnyside

by Vincent

NBC is next up in our check-in of returning sitcom slates. Currently, NBC has once again found itself to the home of a well-loved, critically adored group of sitcoms in Superstore, The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. However, just as was the case in the first half of the decade with 30 Rock, Community, The Office and Parks and Recreation, those shows haven't always translated to the best ratings. So we'll see what NBC has on the burner for the upcoming season.

Returning sitcoms: In my opinion, NBC probably has the strongest block of comedies quality-wise if only because Superstore and The Good Place call the network home, and I'd call those two shows the best sitcoms on TV right now. Both shows have pulled in a solid amount of viewers, but neither are necessarily huge, network-defining hits, and The Good Place is ending this season as creator Mike Schur has felt the show is reaching its natural endpoint. Therefore, NBC is definitely in the hunt for a new show that it can rest its comedy laurels on. The network probably thought that could've been the revival Will & Grace, but after a strong start, the series has faltered enough in the ratings that it wasn't even given a fall timeslot - instead, its on the back-burner with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which similarly returned after its Fox cancellation to big numbers that gradually faded over the course of the season. NBC isn't in a dire spot comedy-wise, but it could definitely use some new blood.

New sitcoms: NBC is keeping with the experimental theme that worked for it with The Good Place with its two new comedies Perfect Harmony and Sunnyside. Perfect Harmony is a musical comedy and Sunnyside is a high-concept series from Kal Penn and Mike Schur about a NYC councilman who dedicates his life to helping immigrants. Even if Superstore and The Good Place aren't huge hits, NBC seems to be banking on their viewers sticking around for all of Thursday night - these are definitely right from those show's playbook, with the issues-based comedy of Superstore and the high-concept fun of The Good Place. Maybe after years of trying to attract "broad" audiences, NBC has finally realized it's better off cultivating a small but dedicated audience for its comedies.

The bottom line: NBC is certainly not ABC or even CBS in terms of its abilities to develop high-rated, huge hit comedy shows. However, after spending several seasons desperately trying and failing to emulate those networks with laughable attempts at recreating their biggest hits (remember Go On? Sean Saves the World? The Michael J. Fox Show? Yeah, not many other people do, either...), it seems like NBC may be finally accepting that the not huge, but solid and dedicated audiences that follow smart, well-crafted comedies like Superstore and The Good Place might be their best way forward in the comedy department. It seems as if NBC is planning to develop that audience with their new comedies, and I think it's a strong strategy for the network going forward.


Freeform's 31 Nights of Halloween

Unruly ghosts, a terrifying masked murderer and everyone's favorite sister witches are heading your way for Freeform's annual "31 Nights of Halloween" programming event. From Oct. 1-31, fans of the most spooktacular time of year can enjoy all of the haunts with fan-favorite feature films, a new original special, marathons of The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror (premieres Oct. 2) and more all month long. After last year's highly successful "Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash," Freeform will continue the party this year with a new original special, 31 Nights of Halloween Fan Fest. Taping on Sept. 12th at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California, the celebration of Halloween's biggest pop culture moments will honor the icons of the season as we celebrate the most beloved movies, television shows and musical artists who have become synonymous with Halloween. More details about the special will be announced at a later date.

The network has also added more chills and thrills with new movies to the line-up. Marking its 35th anniversary, the classic hit Ghostbusters and its sequel Ghostbusters 2, as well as the first three Scream films, will be airing throughout the stunt, joining other "31 Nights of Halloween" staples including Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Addams Family. And not to be forgotten, Freeform is THE home for the iconic Halloween feature film Hocus Pocus, airing throughout the stunt and a back-to-back-to-back marathon on Oct. 31. For the second year, Freeform opens its ghoulish gates to Freeform's Halloween House, an interactive experience in the heart of Hollywood and the ultimate destination for Halloween lovers. View the full 2019 schedule here.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, February 25

The Simpsons - "Lisa Gets an F1" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lisa feels a need for speed as well as a need for control of her anxiety when she becomes a pro kid go-cart racer.

Krapopolis - "Eclipse" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The city of Krapopolis reckons with a solar eclipse; Tyrannis learns that it is not a cruel punishment by Zeus, but a natural occurrence.

The Great North - "Aunt Misbehavin' Adventure" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Moon gets rejected by his crush for the Lil' Preppers Practice Prom, he goes off-grid for the night; Moon copes with his first bout of romantic rejection.

Grimsburg - "McSnuff the Mystery Mutt" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After being forced to take a desk role in the office, Flute decides to lead a double-life and become a dog-themed superhero named McSnuff.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 19)

Friday, February 23

  • Selena Gomez (Only Murders in the Building/Wizards of Waverly Place) - Watch Selena on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary/Fam/Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl Lee appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Alan Cumming (Schmigadoon!) - Alan talks about Peacock's The Traitors on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Broad City/Baby Boom) - Susie chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • D. L. Hughley (The Hughleys/Double Rush) - D. L. dives into the state of comedy today, his nationwide comedy tour and how becoming a grandfather has changed him on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Judy Gold (All-Ameircna Girl) and Kym Whitley (Act Your Age/Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) - Judy and Kym serve as the all-star panel of judges for Sherri's Funny Over 50 contest on Sherri, so check your local listings.
  • Beanie Feldstein (What We Do in the Shadows) - Beanie and the cast of Drive-Away Dolls are telling Drew all about their new on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Shoniqua Shandai (Harlem) - Shoniqua is a guest on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 9:30am.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November-February)

Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Father Knows Best - The Complete Series The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

11/07 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/14 - Leave it to Beaver - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One

That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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