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

Tuesday, October 26

The Last O.G. - "The First Hump Is the Hardest" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
With Wavy's help, Tray tracks down the person who shot him to set things straight; Jasmine has second thoughts about her relationship with Tray.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - "Bearer of Bad News" (BET, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Calvin wants his son in his wedding, but Miranda might not be on board.

Tyler Perry's Assisted Living - "Mr. Big Stuffed" (BET, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Mr. Brown lets business success go to his head, but he gets taken down a peg when the residents threaten to move out.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 25)

Tuesday, October 26

  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Catch Drew on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Victoria Jackson (Strip Mall/Romeo!) - Victoria is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls/So Notorious) - Tori appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alan Cumming (Schmigadoon!) - Alan is a guest on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Tisha Campbell (Dr. Ken/Rita Rocks/My Wife and Kids/The Jamie Foxx Show/Martin)- Tisha talks about Netflix's Inside Job on Access Daily, so check your local listings.


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

Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)

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 Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
07/27 - The Neighborhood - Season Three
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Deluxe Edition (100 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/20 - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet - Standard Edition (50 Episodes) (Time Life)
08/24 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season 2
09/07 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

10/26 - COZI TV Acquires Munster, Go Home Movie for Halloween Marathon; Peacock is Killing It with Craig Robinson
10/25 - Remembering Peter Scolari of Bosom Buddies and Newhart; Mythic Quest Gets 2 Season Renewal
10/24 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 25, 2021)
10/23 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Orders Lopez vs. Lopez Pilot; Tyler Perry's Sistas Renewed for Season Four
10/22 - Fri-Yay: Are Ghosts and The Wonder Years the Saving Graces of Network Comedy?; Ghosts Receives Full Season Order
10/21 - Butch Patrick Hosts Halloween Monster Bash on Classic Reruns TV; Harlem Starring Meagan Good Premieres Dec. 3
10/20 - Fox Announces Special Post NFL January Premieres; TBS Comedy Wipeout Returns in January for Season 2
10/19 - One Final Family Reunion on Netflix; Apple TV+ Announces Premiere Date for Harriet the Spy
10/18 - GAC Family Acquires Classic Sony Sitcoms; Remembering Betty Lynn from The Andy Griffith Show
10/17 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 18, 2021)
10/16 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Could a Looming Strike Shut Down TV Production?; GAC Family Acquires Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Silver Spoons, and More
10/15 - Dickinson Final Season Date Announced; Superstar: Robin Williams to Air Next Week (Oct. 20)
10/14 - Antenna TV's Bewitched 24-Hour Halloween Marathon; Rewind TV's Sabrina Witch-O-Ween Marathon
10/13 - Head of the Class Reboot Premieres Nov. 4, Guest Stars Robin Givens; The Bear Coming to FX
10/12 - CBS Picks Up First 2 New Series for Full Seasons; On My Block Spinoff Series Cast Set
10/11 - Netflix Orders That '90s Show Featuring Red and Kitty; Nash Bridges Movie Premieres Nov. 27 on USA Network
10/10 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 11, 2021)
10/09 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Orders That '70s Show Spinoff Featuring Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith; Nash Bridges Revival Movie Premiere Date Set
10/08 - Fri-Yay: CBS’s Ghosts Is the Most Interesting New Comedy of the Year; Insecure to Hold Festival for Final Season
10/07 - Mini Desperate Housewives Reunion on Hallmark Christmas Movie; The Kids Tonight Show Premieres Oct. 14
10/06 - And Just Like That... We Get a Premiere Date; The CW Holiday Specials Schedule
10/05 - New Peanuts Holiday Special on Apple TV+, PBS to Air Classic Holiday Specials; COZI TV Acquires Heartland
10/04 - Disney Channel Orders Season 5 of Raven's Home; Freeform Picks Up Phoebe Robinson Comedy
10/03 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 4, 2021)
10/02 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 11 Premiere Date Set; Lori Loughlin Returns to TV Role
10/01 - Fri-Yay: The Fall 2021 Sitcom Line-up Is Pretty Bare; Bounce Renews Johnson for Season 2
09/30 - It's a Wonderful Lifetime Expands with 35 New Movies; Hulu & Lifetime Acquire Castle
09/29 - Curb Your Enthusiasm Returns Yet Again; Archer Returning for Lucky Season 13 on FXX
09/28 - Nick at Nite Acquires Mike & Molly; NBC Orders Night Court to Series
09/27 - MeTV Network Halloween Schedule; HBO Max Renews The Other Two for Third Season
09/26 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 27, 2021)