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

Saturday, April 4

Danger Force - "Say My Name" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The members of Danger Force are given terrible nicknames live on KLVY news, so they come up with a plan to announce to the world who they really are: Volt, AWOL, ShoutOut and Brainstorm.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 30)

Friday, April 3

  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Watch Miley on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • John Krasinski (The Office) - John is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Woody appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kathy Bates (Disjointed) - Kathy is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Billy Eichner (Friends from College/Difficult People/Parks and Recreation) - Billy appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta is a guest on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Norman Lear (Producer of All in the Family/Sanford and Son/One Day at a Time/The Jeffersons/Good Times/Maude) - Norman is a guest on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Fortune Feimster (The Mindy Project/Champions) - Fortune appears on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Billy Gardell (Bob Hearts Abishola/Mike & Molly/Yes, Dear) and Folake Olowofoyeku (Bob Hearts Abishola) - Billy and Folake are guests on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Prepon (That '70s Show/Are You There, Chelsea?) - Laura appears on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela talks about The Good Place on a repeat of Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Lisa Whelchel (The Facts of Life) - Lisa talks about You Light Up My Christmas on a repeat of Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Jane Lynch (Angel from Hell) - Jane is a guest on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.


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

My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One Martin - The Complete Series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season

01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season (Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

04/03 - Fri-Yay: Community Moving to Netflix Next Week; NBC Announces Final Episodes of Season List
04/02 - American Dad! Celebrates 15th Anniversary; The Official Robin Williams YouTube Channel Launches
04/01 - CBS All Access Is Tooning Out the News in This Pandemic Crisis; The CW Summer 2020 Schedule
03/31 - The CW Announces Returns of Series Affected; Adult Swim Orders YOLO: Crystal Fantasy
03/30 - Schedule Changes on ABC, CW Due to COVID-19; Insecure: The Game
03/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 30, 2020)
03/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: One Day at a Time a Hit in Ratings; Late Night Talk Set to Return Next Week
03/27 - Fri-Yay: Review of One Day at a Time Season 4 Premiere; NBC Sets Will & Grace Finale Night and Special I Love Lucy Episode
03/26 - CBS Slates Primetime Special from Home with James Corden; Fox Announces Living Room Concert for America
03/25 - Antenna TV Schedule Change on March 30, Doubling Up Comedies; Millionaire 20th Anniversary Premiere Celebs
03/24 - ABC Giving A Modern Farewell to Series; Samantha Bee Returns from Home on Wednesday
03/23 - Bounce Sitcom Returns April 1, No Foolin'; Never Have I Ever Gets Netflix Premiere Date
03/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 23, 2020)
03/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix and Hulu to Share Rights to Community; Preview of New Netflix Series Never Have I Ever
03/20 - Fri-Yay: Best Sitcom Episodes for Coronavirus Isolation; Antenna TV Weekend Binge Marathons for Tough Times
03/19 - Conan Returns March 30 via iPhone Video; Showtime Alters Schedule for Black Monday
03/18 - Billboard Music Awards Postponed on NBC; Acorn TV Extends Free 30-Day Trial
03/17 - Network Upfronts Canceled But Will Go on Digitally
03/16 - Hallmark Slots More Golden Girls, Frasier; Primetime Schedule Changes Due to Coronavirus
03/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 16, 2020)
03/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Shout! Factory Acquires Broadcasting and Streaming Rights to Stephen J. Cannell Library; Schitt's Creek Plans for Series Finale
03/13 - Fri-Yay: One Day at a Time Moves to Pop TV and Takes Jab at Former Home; Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt's Creek Farewell
03/12 - Quibi Announces Fire Island Sitcom; ABC Picks Up 4th Season of Red Hot Drama
03/11 - Apple TV+ Animated Comedy Premieres May 29; Brooke Burns Returns to GSN to Host Game Show
03/10 - Netflix's Lost in Space Gets Final Season; Remembering Sitcom Writer Earl Pomerantz
03/09 - Hulu Gears Up for Comedy Premieres in May; Quibi Programming Slate for April 6 Launch
03/08 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of March 9, 2020)
03/07 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Kids in the Hall Returning for New Episodes; Pop TV Cancels Florida Girls and Other Originals
03/06 - DuckTales Returns with New Season and Cross-Overs with Disney Shows; Isla Fisher Joins CBS All Access Comedy
03/05 - The CW Spring and Summer 2020 Schedule; Kim Fields Joins Netflix Sitcom
03/04 - Hulu's Future Man Returns for Final Season; NBC Escapes with Celebrities
03/03 - Just Roll With It Brings Out the Guest Stars; Quibi Announces Comedy Talk Series