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, February 27

Young Rock - "On the Road Again" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Pennsylvania, 1987: Dwayne pretends he's rich to impress popular girl Karen, but a date to Rocky's wrestling match at the flea market risks exposing the truth; stressed about money, Ata takes on a wealthy new client.

Kenan - "Hard News" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kenan, Rick and Gary go to great lengths to uncover what they think is a deep, dark secret Cori was hiding; Mika believes the morning show should cover more hard news stories.

Danger Force - "Twin It to Win It" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Captain Man makes ShoutOut and AWOL compete over who can catch more criminals using their own ways of crime-fighting.

Side Hustle - "Karaoke Kickoff" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Presley, Lex and Munchy are excited when they buy a karaoke machine from the "Karaoke Kickoff" show; when the machine breaks, the kids head to the studio to get their money back.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 22)

Friday, February 26

  • Will Arnett (Flaked/Arrested Development/The Millers/Up All Night/Running Wilde) - Watch Will on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Will appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Annie Mumolo (Mapleworth Murders/About a Boy) - Annie is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Regina King (227/Leap of Faith) - Regina appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Constance Zimmer (Entourage/Good Morning, Miami) - Constance talks about the series Good Trouble on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Tiffany guest hosts The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar (mixed-ish/Saved by the Bell/Truth Be Told) and Tika Sumpter (mixed-ish/The Game) - Mark-Paul and Tika are guests on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) and Cherie Johnson (Punky Brewster) - Soleil and Cherie talk about Peacock's Punky Brewster on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Soleil also appears on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Freddie Prinze Jr. (Punky Brewster/Freddie) - Freddie is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jason Biggs (Outmatched/Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Jason is filling us in on hosting the new game show Cherries Wild on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) - Mary Lynn talks about Live from the Pandemic on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan) - Brooke will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October-February)

The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series

10/13 - The Jetsons - The Complete Series (Diamond Collection)
10/13 - Our Cartoon President - Season Two
10/23 - Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
11/10 - Letterkenny - Seasons 5 & 6
11/10 - The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/10 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Collection
11/17 - Carol's Second Act - The Complete Series
11/17 - Robbie - Season 1
11/24 - Corporate - Season 1
11/26 - Man with a Plan - Season Four
12/01 - The Neighborhood - Season Two
12/15 - Avenue 5 - The Complete First Season
01/22 - Corporate - Season 2
01/22 - Corporate - Season 3
02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

02/26 - Fri-Yay: CBS's Mom Announces End, Marking Another End of An Era for Sitcoms; Hulu Orders More Shrill and Love, Victor
02/25 - Frasier Revival Coming to Paramount+, While Final Season of Younger to Premiere on Paramount+; The CW Spring 2021 Schedule
02/24 - TBS Comedy Chad Launches April 6; Netflix Drama Raising Dion Adds to Cast
02/23 - Norman Lear Sets Two Series for IMDb TV; Nick Jonas to Pull Double Duty on SNL This Saturday
02/22 - Jamie Foxx Returns with Multi-Camera Sitcom; Mythic Quest Season 2 Launches in May
02/21 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 22, 2021)
02/20 - SitcomsOnline Digest: South Park Plans Second Pandemic Special; Mom Coming to an End After Eight Seasons
02/19 - Fri-Yay: Young Rock Delivers Promise for Sitcom Ratings; The Moodys Returns April 1 on Fox Replacing Call Me Kat
02/18 - CBS Renews 2 Comedies, Cancels Mom and Drama NCIS: New Orleans; Peacock Bulks Up on Original Series
02/17 - Punky Brewster Gets WWE Stars; DuckTales to End with 90-Minute Series Finale
02/16 - NBC Midseason Pilot Review: Young Rock - Premieres Tonight (Feb. 16); TBS Version of Wipeout Premieres April 1
02/15 - Netflix Sitcom The Crew Starring Kevin James Launches; Sex and the City Now Remastered on HBO Max
02/14 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 15, 2021)
02/13 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Coming to an End; Chappelle's Show Returns to Netflix
02/12 - Fri-Yay: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Ending After 8 Seasons; HBO Max Orders Comedy from Issa Rae
02/11 - HBO Max Orders Animated Comedies; Peacock Reunites The Best Man Franchise Into Limited Series
02/10 - NBC Sets March 25 for Superstore Finale; Search Party Renewed for 5th Season
02/09 - COZI TV's The Office Valentine's Day Marathon; HBO Max's Jean Smart Comedy Announces Casting
02/08 - The Jetsons Coming to the MeTV Network; Lana Condor to Star in Netflix Comedy Series
02/07 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 8, 2021)
02/06 - SitcomsOnline Digest: More Guest Hosts Lined Up for Jeopardy; Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Reboot?
02/05 - Fri-Yay: Has the Sitcom Revival Bubble Finally Burst?; NBC Announces Rest of Spring 2021 Schedule
02/04 - 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominees; The CW Renews 12 Dramas for 2021-22
02/03 - New Sitcom Joining AMC Network's Streaming Service; Antenna TV Valentine's Day Marathon and Birthday Celebration Continues
02/02 - New Sonic Series Coming to Netflix; Remembering Dustin Diamond, Hal Holbrook and Sitcom Producer Allan Burns
02/01 - Report: Antenna TV Launching New Secondary Companion Network; Season Premiere of New Amsterdam Premieres March 2 on NBC
01/31 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of February 1, 2021)
01/30 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Reboots in the Works for The Wonder Years and Kate & Allie; Saturday Night Live Finally Sees Ratings Success After 46 Years
01/29 - Fri-Yay: We Need to Be More Patient with New Sitcoms; Norman Lear to Receive The Carol Burnett Award at The Golden Globe Awards
01/28 - No Foolin' New CBS Comedy Premieres April 1; Remembering the Legendary Cloris Leachman
01/27 - Modern Family Heading to Hulu and Peacock for Streaming; NBC Schedules New Drama on Mondays
01/26 - ABC Midseason - Spring 2021 Schedule; NBC Renews Weakest Link for 2nd Season