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

Monday, May 17

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Surprise" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Calvin receives an unconventional birthday gift involving his father, Dave suggests they spend the day celebrating in a way that honors the late Butler patriarch. Also, an unexpected development changes the Johnsons’ lives forever.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "God Accepts Venmo" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
While comparing their busy schedules, Bob and Abishola realize the perfect date for their wedding is in just three weeks and enlist their family and friends to help plan their big day.

Breeders - "No Power Part II" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
On the day of Leah and Alex's wedding, Paul and Ally find they have only a few hours to deal with a family crisis, leading Paul to make the hardest decision of his life.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 17)

Monday, May 17

  • Patton Oswalt (A.P. Bio/The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Watch Patton on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet) - Timothy appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Billy is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Denise Richards (Blue Mountain State) - Denise will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas) - Nick is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew guest hosts the 8am hour of CBS This Morning.
  • Rob Corddry (The Unicorn/Ballers/The Winner) - Rob talks about Top Gear America on Reality Check at 4:30pm.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) and Dylan McDermott (No Activity/L.A. to Vegas) - Christopher and Dylan talk about Law & Order: Organized Crime on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Regina Hall (Black Monday/Grandfathered/Second Generation Wayans) - Regina talks about season three of Black Monday on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


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

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
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

05/16 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 17, 2021)
05/15 - SitcomsOnline Digest: ABC Cancels Several Series; Quibi Returns Via Roku
05/14 - NBC Upfront 2021-22: Fall 2021 Schedule; Fri-Yay: ABC and CBS Comedy Renewal Decisions
05/13 - Billy Porter and More Join The Proud Family Revival; HBO Max Orders Gordita Chronicles
05/12 - FXX Orders Animated Comedy Little Demon; The CW to Revive Legends of the Hidden Temple
05/11 - Fox 2021-22 Updates Includes Comedy News; ABC Renews Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 for 2021-22, NBC Orders Dark Comedy Pilot
05/10 - Netflix Sitcom The Upshaws Premieres on Wednesday (May 12); Hallmark Channel Sitcom Schedule Changes
05/09 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 10, 2021)
05/08 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Trailer Released for Upcoming Rugrats Reboot; Final Airdate Set for Conan
05/07 - Fri-Yay: Rolling Stone's 100 Best Sitcoms of All Time; Marion Cunningham Greatest Classic TV Mom in New Poll
05/06 - E! Reunites TV Casts in Reunion Road Trip; Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Mr. Corman on Apple TV+
05/05 - COZI TV's Roseanne Mother's Day Mom Genes Marathon; Conan's Final TBS Episode to Air June 24
05/04 - NBC Orders Night Court Revival to Pilot; House of Payne and Assisted Living Return May 25 and Ordered for Additional Season
05/03 - Young Rock and Kenan Set to Return for Season 2; Schmigadoon! A New Apple TV+ Comedy Coming This July
05/02 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 3, 2021)
05/01 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Night Court Reboot One Step Closer to Reality; IMDb TV Picks Up Comedy From My Name Is Earl Creator
04/30 - Fri-Yay: Rewind TV Offers Sitcom Lovers a Chance to Watch Their 80s/90s Faves; CBS Announces Season Finale Dates
04/29 - ABC Revises Summer Premieres and Finales, Announces Drama Finale Dates; IMDb TV Gets Greg Garcia Comedy
04/28 - Fox Producing New Flintstones Series Titled Bedrock; Sarah Silverman Joins Damon Wayans Jr. TBS Pilot
04/27 - Antenna TV's Companion Network, Rewind TV Launching September 1 with 80s and 90s Series; Remembering Sitcom Writer Bernie Kahn
04/26 - Disney Channel Orders Second Season of Time Travel Comedy; Selena Gomez Returning for 3rd Season of HBO Max Series
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04/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: How I Met Your Mother Spinoff Picked Up at Hulu; Complete Series of Baywatch Arriving on DVD
04/23 - Fri-Yay: Netflix's New Jamie Foxx Sitcom Has Potential But Not Quite There Yet; Remembering Felix Silla of The Addams Family and James Hampton of F Troop
04/22 - Hulu Orders How I Met Your Father Starring Hilary Duff; Robot Chicken Takes on Riverdale
04/21 - Ted Lasso Returns July 23, Mark Your Calendars; ABC Comedies Season Finale Dates
04/20 - FXX's Dave Season 2 Premiere Set for June; HBO Max Orders Michael Che Comedy Series
04/19 - Starz Announces Courteney Cox Comedy; Fox Pulls The Moodys
04/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 19, 2021)
04/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Will Sasso Joins HBO Max Sitcom Pilot; Home Economics Off to Solid Start
04/16 - Fri-Yay: Home Economics Is a Solid Addition to ABC’s Comedy Block; Mr Inbetween Season 3 Premiere Date Set