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

Thursday, August 5

grown-ish - "A Boy Is a Gun" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After an unarmed Black man is shot by police, the crew reacts in different ways to the news; Kiela and Doug butt heads when she wants to use his party to raise awareness.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 2)

Thursday, August 5

  • Nick Kroll (Big Mouth/The League/Cavemen) - Nick guest hosts a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Seth Rogen (Undeclared) - Seth appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project/The Office) - Mindy is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Max Greenfield (The Neighborhood/New Girl/Modern Men) - Max appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Schmigadoon!/Trial & Error/Kristin) - Kristin chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting/Central Park/black-ish) - Daveed talks about his new series Blindspotting on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Niecy Nash (Getting On/The Soul Man/Reno 911!) - Niecy appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Jane Levy (Suburgatory) - Jane appears on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Bill Bellamy (Mr. Box Office/Men, Women & Dogs/Cousin Skeeter) - Bill will be on the PEOPLE in the '90s podcast.
  • John Stamos (Fuller House/Grandfathered/Jake in Progress/Full House/You Again?) - John talks about his new podcast The Grand Scheme where he delves into Frank Sinatra's kidnapping on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa talks about Hit & Run on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


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

Fuller House - The Complete Series Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)

04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two
06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

08/04 - Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. Premieres September 8; List of a Lifetime Casts TV Stars 08/03 - Hulu Renews Love, Victor for Season 3; Archer Season 12 Premieres August 25 on FXX
08/02 - Antenna TV Fall 2021 Schedule; Rewind TV Launch Schedule Beginning September 1
08/01 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of August 2, 2021)
07/31 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Remake for TBS; Schitt's Creek Producer Hoping to Replicate Success with Son of a Critch
07/30 - Fri-Yay: Ted Lasso and Mythic Quest Are Promising Comedies on Apple TV+; Paramount+ Announces Cast for The Game Revival
07/29 - Sarah Silverman Hosting David Letterman Produced TBS Series; More Stars Joining And Just Like That...
07/28 - Game Show Network Announces New Original Series; Retta Hosting New HGTV Show
07/27 - Fox Fall 2021 Premiere Dates; B.J. Novak's The Premise to Premiere on FX on Hulu
07/26 - Damon Wayans Jr. to Host Frogger; Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens Getting All-Star Guests
07/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 26, 2021)
07/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Manifest Cancellation Being Reconsidered; American Housewife Sold for Broadcast Syndication
07/23 - Fri-Yay: 2021 Emmy Nominations Heavy on New Comedies, Light on Traditional Sitcoms; That Damn Michael Che Gets a Second Season
07/22 - Lifetime Announces Justina Machado TV Movie; ABC News to Focus on Superstars
07/21 - HBO Max's Love Life Season 2 Announces Cast; Kevin Hart and Jason Biggs Host Back-to-Back Shows on E!
07/20 - Peacock's Superfan Episodes of The Office; The Other Two Season 2 Launch Date on New Network HBO Max
07/19 - Melrose Place Reunion on Fox's New Fantasy Island; Tacoma FD Returns Sept. 16 on truTV
07/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 19, 2021)
07/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Jerry O'Connell Joins the Conversation on The Talk; Norman Lear Sitcoms Arrive on Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV
07/16 - ABC Fall 2021 Premiere Dates Includes The Wonder Years; Paramount+ Renews iCarly
07/15 - Norman Lear Classics to Stream on Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV; Cristela Alonzo to Host Hidden Temple on The CW
07/14 - 73rd Emmy Awards Nominations; Showtime Orders Vanessa Bayer and Molly Shannon Comedy
07/13 - Emmy Awards Slated for Sep. 19, CBS Fall Premiere Dates; Remembering Charlie Robinson - Mac from Night Court
07/12 - Huge Star Joining Season 5 of Search Party on HBO Max; Late Night Talk Show Pause with Sam Jay to Return
07/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 12, 2021)
07/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Casting News for Night Court Reboot; Rutherford Falls Renewed for Second Season
07/09 - Fri-Yay: CNN's History of the Sitcom Looks Like a Treat for Sitcom Fans; Rutherford Falls Renewed for 2nd Season; Remembering Suzzanne Douglas of The Parent 'Hood
07/08 - COZI TV Acquires 3rd Rock from the Sun and Quincy, M.E. This Summer; The Standups to Return to Netflix After Long Hiatus
07/07 - AnTENna TV's Birthday Party Continues on July 10; HBO Max's Our Flag Means Death Adds More to Cast
07/06 - Netflix Cancels 4 Sitcoms Including Kevin James Series; HBO Max's Pretty Little Liars Casts Two Leads
07/05 - Happy 4th of July; Limited Edition Younger Vinyl Soundtrack Coming July 16; Seinfeld Soundtrack Released
07/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of July 5, 2021)