Friday, October 16, 2020

Fri-Yay: COVID-19 Storylines on TV, Will Viewers Watch?; Antenna TV's 70 Episode Jack Benny Marathon for 70th Anniversary

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!

Connecting

by Vincent

This past week, NBC premiered the first new sitcom since the COVID-19 pandemic began: Connecting..., a sitcom shot remotely about a group of friends meeting through video chats during quarantine. If you haven't heard of it, you might not be some: the show attracted just a bit over 1 million viewers for its premiere, low numbers even in a world where broadcast ratings continue to drop. The show will likely finish out its 8-episode order, but there's no doubt that it didn't attract much interest. Which leads me to wonder: how much will viewers want to watch the pandemic reflected back at them?

It's a fair question given many shows are planning to incorporate COVID-19 into their storylines this year, from Connecting... to Superstore to black-ish, as well as dramas like Grey's Anatomy, The Good Doctor. And yet, I personally think people watch TV shows as a means of escape, which includes escaping from our anxiety-ridden reality. Will viewers think the same thing? That could be part of why they didn't connect with Connecting... (despite the show actually being pretty solid, as noted in our review). As more and more shows premiere and cover COVID-19, it will be interesting to see whether viewers embrace the real life stories or whether they prefer to forget.


The Jack Benny Program

Antenna TV will air 70 back-to-back episodes of The Jack Benny Program starting next Saturday, October 24 to mark the program's 70th television anniversary. The 70-episode marathon will feature the best gags, guests and glares from The Jack Benny Program. First a radio program, the show's cast regularly broke the fourth wall to interact with the audience and included running jokes such as Benny's age, forever frozen at 39. The Jack Benny Program 70th anniversary marathon starts Saturday, October 24 at 10 a.m. ET and continues through 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 25.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 20

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 19)

Tuesday, October 20

  • Michael Keaton (Report to Murphy/Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Catch Michael on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jason Alexander (Seinfeld/Bob Patterson/Listen Up!) - Jason appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tim Robbins (The Brink) - Tim is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Alexandra Wentworth (Nightcap) - Alexandra will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Romeo Miller (Romeo!) - Romeo is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Joel McHale (Community/The Great Indoors) - Joel will be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • June Diane Raphael (Grace and Frankie/New Girl/Burning Love) - June appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Casey Wilson (Black Monday/Marry Me/Happy Endings) - Casey is a guest on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sutton Foster (Younger) - Sutton talks about why she's teaming up with Cookie Monster from Sesame Street on E!'s Daily Pop at 11am.
  • Reba McEntire (Reba/Malibu Country) and Melissa Peterman (Reba/Working Class/Baby Daddy) - Reba and Melissa share stories from their podcast on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond), Patricia Heaton (Carol's Second Act/The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) and Brad Garrett (Single Parents/'Til Death/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Ray, Patricia and Brad reunite on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Michael Gross (Family Ties) - Michael talks about the 30th anniversary of Tremors and Tremors: Shrieker Island on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


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

Will & Grace - The Revival -Season Three - The Farewell Season 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

07/07 - Will & Grace - The Revival - Season Three - The Farewell Season
07/21 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Tenth Season
07/21 - The Thundermans - Season 1 / Season 2 / Season 3 / Season 4
07/21 - The Unicorn - Season One
07/28 - The Thundermans - Season 1-4 Bundle
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
10/27 - The Flintstones - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
10/27 - Head of the Class - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

10/20 - Antenna TV Officially Announces Returns of The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time; Holiday Movie Reunites Family Matters Siblings
10/19 - Disney+ Says "Simpsons Forever"; TBS Orders 4th Season of The Last O.G.
10/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 19, 2020)
10/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Fried Green Tomatoes Series Starring Reba McEntire in the Works at NBC; Last Man Standing to End After Nine Seasons
10/16 - Fri-Yay: COVID-19 Storylines on TV, Will Viewers Watch?; Antenna TV's 70 Episode Jack Benny Marathon for 70th Anniversary
10/15 - Last Man Standing to Conclude After Season 9 in 2021; CBS Announces Fall 2020 Premiere Dates
10/14 - TBS Brings Out Halloween Sitcom Episodes on Halloween; Remembering Conchata Ferrell of Two and a Half Men
10/13 - Freeform's 'Kickoff to Christmas' Schedule; Celebrate 20 Years of Curb on HBO Max
10/12 - TNT Airing The West Wing Reruns on Fridays; Kate Mulgrew Joins Star Trek Animated Comedy
10/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 12, 2020)
10/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Seinfeld's Newman Returns in PSA to Encourage Mail-In Voting; Showtime Cancels On Becoming a God in Central Florida
10/09 - Fri-Yay: One Day at a Time Makes Broadcast Debut As a Continuation of the Series' Unlikely Journey; Dickinson Season 2 Premiere Date and Renewal for Season 3
10/08 - Hallmark Drama Adding Cheers, Happy Days and The Brady Bunch; Chelsea Handler HBO Max Special Gets Date
10/07 - NBC Fall Pilot Review: Connecting... - Premieres Thursday (Oct. 8); Supernatural Gets Marathons on TNT as Series Finale Airs Nov. 19 on The CW
10/06 - Cobra Kai Season 3 Premiere Date, 4th Season Renewal; Busy Philipps Joins Peacock Comedy Girls5eva
10/05 - Apple TV+ Launches The Snoopy Show in 2021; Antenna TV Celebrates 70th Anniversary of The Burns and Allen Show
10/04 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 5, 2020)
10/03 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Saved by the Bell Reboot Debut Date Set; South Park Pandemic Special a Ratings Hit
10/02 - Fri-Yay: The Return of Sitcoms: black-ish & Superstore; Bounce Acquires Everybody Hates Chris & Greenleaf
10/01 - NBC's Young Rock Announces Cast; OWN Gets Digital Comedy
09/30 - Saved by the Bell Reboot Launching November 25; HBO Orders Weekly Talk Show with Sam Jay
09/29 - The Addams Family Coming to FETV; Netflix Developing Korean Sitcom
09/28 - 2002-2007 Sitcom George Lopez Coming to TBS; Guests Announced for black-ish Election Special
09/27 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 28, 2020)
09/26 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Peacock to Launch All 45 Seasons of Saturday Night Live; Renewal for Family Guy and Bob's Burgers
09/25 - Fri-Yay: Schitt's Creek Emmy Sweep; HBO Max Orders New Pretty Little Liars
09/24 - NBC Moves This Is Us, Connecting Premieres; Fox Orders 2 More Seasons for Bob's Burgers & Family Guy
09/23 - Schitt's Creek Heads to Syndication on Stations and Comedy Central; Apple Orders Patricia Arquette Comedy
09/22 - Decades Fall 2020 Schedule; CMT Acquires American Housewife
09/21 - Antenna TV Fall 2020 Schedule, with 2021 Teases; 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards Winners
09/20 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 21, 2020)