Friday, August 28, 2020

Fri-Yay: Another Sitcom Lookback - Cheers; ABC and NBC Alter Fall 2020 Schedules

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!

Cheers

by Vincent

Since it's a slow time for new sitcoms (both because of the summer and because of the pandemic causing a shortage of new sitcom content), I thought I'd look back at another sitcom of the past that I'm rewatching and finding holds up extremely well. That sitcom is Cheers, one of the biggest sitcoms of the 20th century and also one of the most acclaimed. Cheers is a show I haven't watched in some time, so rewatching the series has really reminded me just how nearly every sitcom made after it can trace its lineage back to the bar where everyone knows your name. Not necessarily in terms of joke structure (Cheers is a very funny show, but it's more rooted in the humor of the '80s and '90s and not the more modern sitcom type humor that was developed in the '00s) but in terms of its character development. Cheers has some of the best and most subtle character development I've ever seen in a sitcom. Character development in sitcoms is trickier than dramas, because the comfort of a sitcom means everything has to (seemingly) remain the same. The humor comes from the familiar situation of the show's situation. And yet, for a sitcom to remain fresh, the best ones do try to push their characters forward, but have to do so gradually.

I think any fan of Cheers would agree the characters in Season 11 were not quite the same people as the characters at the start - they had grown and changed, but they were still recognizably their archetypes. That's because Cheers very slowly evolved its characters over the course of its run. There weren't any real shocking plot twists or huge events happening, but the day-to-day doldrums of life and evolution of their relationships gradually pushed their characters to new places. And I would argue nearly every great sitcom after it - be it Friends or The Office or Parks and Recreation or Community - evolved their characters in similar ways. Prior to Cheers, there were far less sitcoms that had their eye on the gradual character development, but it's become an important part of sitcoms going forward. And as I'm watching Cheers, I'm reminded of just how character development in a sitcom can be done right.


Supermarket Sweep

Yesterday we had some changes for CBS and Fox, now we have some changes for Fall 2020 for ABC and NBC. ABC unveiled its fall unscripted premiere dates. Details for the network's scripted series premiere dates will be shared at a later time and will likely have October/November premieres for many of its series. ABC has slotted five nights of programming for September/October, joining the previously announced Dancing with the Stars, which will launch Monday, Sept. 14 from 8-10pm. Game show favorites Celebrity Family Feud, Press Your Luck and Match Game return with the back half of their seasons, with the first half having aired on Sundays earlier this summer. They will move to Thursdays and resume on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 8-11pm until TGIT dramas are ready later this fall. A dramatic new season of The Bachelorette debuts Tuesday, October 13 from 8-10pm. An all-new season of Shark Tank kicks off on Friday, October 16 at 8pm. And finally, Sundays will be more Fun & Games with new series Supermarket Sweep hosted by Leslie Jones joining the Sunday lineup at 8pm, right after an all-new season of AFV. At 9pm, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with Jimmy Kimmel returns for a second season followed by the second season of Card Sharks with Joel McHale at 10pm - all premiering Sunday, October 18 from 7-11pm. No date yet for $100,000 Pyramid with Michael Strahan, which also started production this week. Stay tuned for the scripted premiere dates.

NBC

NBC is celebrating a November to remember as America's most-loved dramas make their highly anticipated season debuts the week of Nov. 9-13, including a two-hour premiere of This Is Us (Nov. 10, 9-11pm) and all three Chicago series (Nov. 11, 8-11pm). In addition, Law & Order: SVU (Nov. 12, 9pm) will return for its record-extending 22nd season that same week, along with the eighth season of The Blacklist (Nov. 13, 8pm), starring James Spader and Megan Boone. But comedy will launch first! For scripted comedy, executive producer Martin Gero will debut his new scripted comedy Connecting ... on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 8:30pm. The series is about a group of friends trying to stay close (and sane) through video chats as they share the highs and lows of these extraordinary times. Superstore, where Cloud 9's unique family of employees work together and share nearly everything about their personal lives as well, returns for its sixth season on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 8pm. On to reality, the four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series The Voice, with coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani, as well as host Carson Daly, will be back in its swiveling red chairs on Monday, Oct. 19 8-10pm and return for the second night of its season debut on Tuesday, Oct. 20 (8-10pm premiere, then 8-9pm). Host Jane Lynch will kick off the first episode of the worldwide global phenom Weakest Link when the show debuts Monday, Sept. 28 at 10pm. Ellen's Game of Games, one of the most fun shows on all of television, returns Tuesday, Oct. 6 for a two-hour premiere from 8-10 p.m. before shifting the following week on Oct. 13 to its normal 9-10 p.m. timeslot for a few weeks.

The Wall and American Ninja Warrior will air for three weeks starting Wednesday, Oct. 21, before the Chicago series return. Ninja will start off on Mondays, as previously announced, before moving to Wednesdays when The Voice returns. Returning series set to debut after Jan. 1 include Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Good Girls, Making It, Manifest, New Amsterdam and Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. New series set to launch in 2021 include Kenan, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Mr. Mayor, That's My Jam, Small Fortune, True Story, Who Do You Think You Are? and Young Rock.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, May 15

Side Hustle - "Bot Club" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lex, Presley and Munchy discover that Fisher is a big-time player in the underground robot fight club scene in Altoonisburg; having not lost a robot fight yet, the kids decide to bet their KidDING money on a Fisher win.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 10)

Friday, May 14

  • Fred Armisen (Los Espookys/Forever/Big Mouth) - Watch Fred on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) and Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Billy and Tiffany are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Richard Kind (Mad About You/Spin City) - Richard appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • 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 discusses the movie The Treasure of Pirates Cove and the show The Bold and The Beautiful on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (In the House/The Fresh of Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Denis Leary (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll/The Job) - Denis and Rachael share the work they did together on International Firefighters' Day on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Jean Smart (Samantha Who?/Center of the Universe/The In-Laws/Designing Women) - Jean talks about HBO Max's Hacks on NBC's Today in the 10am 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

05/14 - 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
04/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of April 26, 2021)
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
04/15 - Aidy Bryant Comedy Shrill's Final Season; ABC's Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days
04/14 - Superstore Star Lauren Ash Signs Development Deal with NBCUniversal; Jenna Dewan Joins New CBS Dance Series