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, November 23

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Election" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
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 - "Paris Is for Lovers, Not Mothers" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Kemi leans on Abishola after an argument with Chukwuemeka, disrupting her and Bob’s engagement celebration. Also, Dottie gives Douglas a new job at MaxDot.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 23)

Monday, November 23

  • Ben Falcone (Nobodies/Joey) - Watch Ben on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. He will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Michael is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) - Constance appears on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Goldie Hawn (Good Morning World) - Goldie and Kurt Russell will be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ryan Michelle Bathe (Retired at 35) - Ryan guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Mario is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa discusses how she is inspiring a new generation of female leaders, the latest book of her children's series and her podcast on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Annaleigh Ashford (B Positive) - Annaleigh stops by to chat about her popular Wednesdays with wigs videos on Instagram, raising her 4-year-old son Jack and more on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tiffany Haddish (The Last O.G./The Carmichael Show) - Tiffany talks about quarantining with Common but why she hasn't moved in with him yet, her Thanksgiving plans, and how she plans to help others to fight hunger around the holidays on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - NBC's Today has Thanks + Giving with Marlo and St. John Hospital sometime between 7-9am.
  • Kimberly Williams-Paisley (According to Jim) - Kimberly talks about The Christmas Chronicles 2 on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Rochelle Aytes (Work It) - Rochelle talks about A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (August/September/October/November)

Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season Mom - The Complete Seventh Season The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season The Office - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

08/04 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Eighth Season
08/04 - The Neighborhood - Season One
08/11 - Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens - Season 1
08/11 - Final Space - The First and Second Seasons (Blu-ray)
09/01 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 14
09/01 - What We Do in the Shadows - The Complete Second Season
09/01 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
09/15 - Mom - The Complete Seventh Season
09/15 - South Side - Season 1
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Second Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Third Season
09/22 - Brockmire - The Complete Fourth Season
09/22 - Man with a Plan - Season Three
09/29 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
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

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

11/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 23, 2020)
11/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: NBC Sets Premiere Date for Mr. Mayor; New Version of Name That Tune in the Works at Fox
11/20 - Fri-Yay: Thoughts on Fresh Prince Reunion on HBO Max; Nick at Nite Renews Friends in Multi-Year Deal
11/19 - PBS to Air A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas; Cybill Shepherd Gets Showtime Comedy Pilot
11/18 - Hulu Orders Second Season of Woke; HBO Max Gets Conan Variety Series, While Conan Ends on TBS in June 2021
11/17 - COZI TV Thanksgiving and Christmas Marathons; Stream 65 Full Episodes of The Carol Burnett Show Unedited
11/16 - Antenna TV Holiday 2020 Stunts and Marathons; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Premieres This Thursday!
11/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 16, 2020)
11/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Preview Released; Peacock Launches Saved by the Bell Channel
11/13 - Fri-Yay: Any Hope Left for Broadcast Sitcom Ratings?; BET Presents CBS Monday Series Tonight; BUZZR Remembers Alex Trebek Tomorrow
11/12 - CBS Orders New Chuck Lorre Comedy to Series; MeTV and Game Show Network to Remember Alex Trebek
11/11 - Fox Announces Winter Premiere Dates for New and Returning Series; ABC Announces Early 2021 Unscripted Premiere Dates
11/10 - ABC Orders Celebrity Wheel of Fortune; Turner Networks Celebrate Thanksgiving to the HBO Max
11/09 - Remembering Alex Trebek; Decades Changes Schedule in December with The Odd Couple and The Love Boat Added
11/08 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 9, 2020)
11/07 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Jeopardy GOATS to Return in New Version of The Chase; Holly Robinson Peete Joins American Housewife Cast
11/06 - Fri-Yay: Superstore Tackles the Pandemic in a Smart, Funny Way; Family Ties Cast to Reunite
11/05 - Dave Chappelle Returns to SNL for Post Election Episode; Remembering Writer Jeremy Stevens of Everybody Loves Raymond
11/04 - Showtime's Moonbase 8 Gets Early Release Online; Lark Voorhies to Appear on Peacock's Saved by the Bell
11/03 - NBC Pulls Connecting... From Lineup; Fox Says The Great North to Air in February
11/02 - Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas Schedule for 2020; HBO Max Licenses Comedy Central Library in Streaming Deal
11/01 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of November 2, 2020)
10/31 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fox to Remake British Comedy; Judy Justice Headed to IMDb TV
10/30 - Fri-Yay: The Best Sitcom Halloween Episodes; CBS All Access Renews No Activity for 4th Season
10/29 - Even More Ted Lasso on Way at Apple TV+; Craig Robinson to Host The Masked Dancer on Fox
10/28 - COZI TV Halloween Marathons of The Munsters & Roseanne; Apple TV+ Orders Another Comedy, This Time with Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen
10/27 - Freeform's The Clock Is Ticking Special with Yara Shahidi; Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Ends on New Year's Eve
10/26 - TBS Orders 3rd Season of Miracle Workers; SNL Extended to 6 New Episodes in a Row - A Record!
10/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 26, 2020)
10/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Another Addams Family Reboot in the Works?; Quibi Says Goodbye After Six Months
10/23 - Fri-Yay: Archer Goes Back to Its Roots for Season 11; Everybody Loves Raymond Cast Reunion Tonight
10/22 - CBS Announces More Fall Premieres; REELZ Books Jennifer Aniston Special