Friday, April 10, 2020

Fri-Yay: End of Modern Family is End of an Era; COZI TV Celebrates Will & Grace Finale with Marathon

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!

Modern Family

by Vincent

On Wednesday night, Modern Family officially ended its 11-season run on ABC, a legendary run for a sitcom that was in many ways a landmark. The show is arguably the biggest and most successful single-camera sitcom of all time - only The Office has a case against it, which I'd say may have overtaken it due to its boom in popularity after its end thanks to its prevalence of Netflix (Modern Family, frustratingly, is still not available to stream in full on any major streaming site, although it plays often in syndication). Still, in terms of success and longevity during their network runs, Modern Family was able to appeal to a wide audience longer than any other single-camera sitcom. In some ways, its success already feels like the end of a bygone era of network TV. Because of streaming and audience fragmentation, network sitcoms just don't pull in the weekly audiences and have the same cultural spark that Modern Family did in its prime.

I also think Modern Family will register as a legendary sitcom for a few other reasons. The show depicted a fairly progressive view of families, and its success arguably has led to many, many successors depicting families that are a bit different than the typical nuclear family on TV. In fact, in some ways Modern Family became a victim of its own influence, in some ways. Because representation on TV has increased so much, Modern Family's "modern" family doesn't look as progressive as it did in 2009, but it's easy to forget that in 2009, the family sitcom was all but dead, its only relics on mainstream culture being shows from past eras that depicted very traditional American families. Modern Family not only made family sitcoms "cool" again in some ways, but it made them okay with depicting many other kind of families. That might be the norm now, but it certainly wasn't 11 years ago when the show premiered. Another part of the reason that a lot of people might not remember just how groundbreaking Modern Family was at first is also because, in many ways, the show became somewhat complacent through-out its run, forgoing the interesting, genuinely funny and heartwarming writing of the first several seasons with more stock sitcom plots. This is, of course, not atypical for long-running sitcoms, and although I wish Modern Family had remained fresh and funny for a little longer than it did, it still doesn't take away what the show accomplished. And the show's finale, while not groundbreaking TV, was a nice reminder of how funny the show could be. It's a fairly low-key finale (there is some change: Cam gets an offer to move to Missouri to coach a college football team, Phil and Claire kick the kids out of house, and Manny leaves home), but for the most part is was an episode without many bells and whistles. Life goes on for the Dunphys, even if things have changed. Modern Family might not be going out as one of the best sitcoms on TV, but it goes out leaving a reminder of why, at one time, it was.


Will & Grace

In celebration of the upcoming series finale of NBC's Will & Grace, COZI TV announced a special "Celebrate! The Will & Grace Marathon," showcasing all season one episodes on Sunday, April 19 starting at 11:00 a.m. EST (check local listings). Wrapping up the marathon will be the original series finale from 2006, which has not been seen in syndication because of the new re-booted series storyline. This laugh-filled trip down memory lane will spotlight where it all began for Will, Grace, Jack and Karen before the show completes its four-decade run, comprising 11 seasons, 246 episodes and earning 18 Emmy Awards. In 2017, COZI TV became the exclusive digital broadcast network of the first eight seasons. The series finale will air on Thursday, April 23 at 9 p.m. EST on NBC. The hit comedy series Will & Grace features actors Debra Messing as Grace Adler, Megan Mullally as Karen Walker, Eric McCormack as Will Truman and Sean Hayes as Jack McFarland. The series follows best friends Will and Grace as they navigate living together, while they deal with their eccentric friends Karen and Jack. The show originally aired on NBC starting in 1998, with the season eight finale coming in 2006.

The following episodes from Will & Grace season one (and 2006 series finale) will air on COZI TV on Sunday, April 19 starting at 11:00 a.m.:

11:00 a.m.: The Pilot (Love & Marriage)
11:30 a.m.: A New Lease on Life
12:00 p.m.: Head Case
12:30 p.m.: Between a Rock and Harlin's Place
1:00 p.m.: Boo! Humbug
1:30 p.m.: William, Tell
2:00 p.m.: Where There's a Will, There's No Way
2:30 p.m.: The Buying Game
3:00 p.m.: The Truth About Will & Dogs
3:30 p.m.: Big Vent
4:00 p.m.: Will on Ice
4:30 p.m.: My Fair Maid-y
5:00 p.m.: The Unsinkable Mommy Adler
5:30 p.m.: Big Brother Is Coming: Part I
6:00 p.m.: Big Brother Is Coming: Part II
6:30 p.m.: Yours, Mine or Ours
7:00 p.m.: Secrets & Lays
7:30 p.m.: Grace, Replaced
8:00 p.m.: Will Works Out
8:30 p.m.: Saving Grace
9:00 p.m.: Alley Cats
9:30 p.m.: Object of My Rejection
10:00 p.m.: The Finale


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, April 20

black-ish - "My Dinner with Andre Junior" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Junior and Olivia invite an excited Bow and Dre over for dinner in their new apartment, but upon arrival, they immediately become concerned with the young couple’s living conditions. Meanwhile, Diane bonds with Pops as she asks for his advice on dating.

mixed-ish - "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Rainbow’s best friend, Tamika, asks her to plan her 14th birthday party, so Bow goes out of her way to make sure it’s the coolest birthday party ever. Meanwhile, Paul and Alicia battle it out for who is the “coolest,” and Harrison takes Santi and Johan on a trip to Mexico for some quality time.

Young Rock - "A Lady Named Star Search" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Hawaii, 1982: While Ata prepares for her "Star Search" audition, Rocky takes an unorthodox approach to helping Dewey deal with some bullies; Lia's conflict with rival wrestling promoter Greg Yao has her on edge.

Kenan - "Teacher's Strike" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When the teachers go on strike, everyone has to pitch in to keep the kids occupied; Rick sets up a unique schoolroom in the morning show conference room.

Chad - "Ikrimah Breakup" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
When his mom breaks up with her boyfriend and Chad's left without a father figure, Chad does everything in his power to win him back.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 19)

Tuesday, April 20

  • Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen Show/Ellen/Open House) - Catch Ellen on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Jane appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Bradley Whitford (Perfect Harmony/Happyish/Trophy Wife) - Bradley is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Hank Azaria (The Simpsons/Brockmire/Free Agents/Imagine That/Herman's Head) - Hank will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kevin James (The Crew/Kevin Can Wait/The King of Queens) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!/The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World) - Thomas is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Ed Helms (Rutherford Falls/The Office) - Ed will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men/Jenny - Jenny appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, 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


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