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

Monday, August 2

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Election" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dave faces off against incumbent Isaiah Evans (guest star Wayne Brady) in a debate for a city council seat, and the race comes to a dramatic conclusion.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Camp Bananas" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)(Repeat)
For the sake of Bob’s health, Bob and Abishola try reducing stress by taking a day off together. Also, Christina is boss for the day at MaxDot, and Gloria steps in to care for Dottie.

Young Sheldon - "An Existential Crisis and a Bear That Makes Bubbles" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Meemaw takes matters into her own hands when Sheldon’s philosophy teacher, Professor Ericson (Melanie Lynskey), sends him into a tailspin. Also, George Sr. learns Georgie has been cutting class.

United States of Al - "Roht/Sweet Bread" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Al meets Ariana (Azita Ghanizada), an Afghan woman he wants to date, but is dismayed to learn she has a negative opinion of Afghan interpreters who worked for the U.S.

HouseBroken - "Who Did This?" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Honey refuses to go outside after the groomer gives her a humiliating new haircut; Diablo is introduced to a strange new creature who causes him to break the cardinal rule of being a pet.

Duncanville - "Duncan's New Word" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Duncan says the one thing no kid should ever say to their dad; Kimberly and Jing have a window to do whatever they want; Annie and Jack deal with Duncan's issue.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 2)

Monday, August 2

  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony guest hosts a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso/Son of Zorn/The Cleveland Show) - Watch Jason on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Tiffany is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Linda Lavin (Alice/Room for Two/Sean Saves the World/9JKL) - Linda will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Idris Elba (Turn Up Charlie) - Idris talks about The Suicide Squad on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Josh Peck (Grandfathered/Drake & Josh) - Josh talks about the new Disney+ series Turner & Hooch on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls/Joey) - Jennifer talks about her new film Swan Song on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Jay Pharoah (Champaign ILL/White Famous) - Jay talks about Resort to Love on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March-July)

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 Re-Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release)

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
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)
08/03 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

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07/28 - Game Show Network Announces New Original Series; Retta Hosting New HGTV Show
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07/26 - Damon Wayans Jr. to Host Frogger; Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens Getting All-Star Guests
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07/15 - Norman Lear Classics to Stream on Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV; Cristela Alonzo to Host Hidden Temple on The CW
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07/13 - Emmy Awards Slated for Sep. 19, CBS Fall Premiere Dates; Remembering Charlie Robinson - Mac from Night Court
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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
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07/02 - Fri-Yay: Modern Family is a Perfect Holiday Weekend Binge; Spike Lee to Open NBA Finals
07/01 - The Simpsons and Marvel Join Forces on Disney+; Netflix Orders Catherine Tate Comedy Series