Friday, January 22, 2021

Fri-Yay: The Network Sitcom Is In Crisis - Can It Be Saved?; TBS Announces Dates for New Series Chad and Return of American Dad!

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!

The Conners

by Vincent

For many years, the network sitcom has been a staple of TV. Even now, in our streaming age, streaming services are filled with network sitcoms from present and past, and often, in the case of shows like The Office, Seinfeld, and Friends, they're among the most popular shows of their respective streaming services. And yet, on network TV, there is a serious lack of hit network sitcoms. Even reliable hits from past years, like The Conners, The Goldbergs and Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon, have dropped to series lows this year. While ratings in general continue to slide downwards, ratings for network sitcoms are falling faster than network averages. There are some genuine drama hits on network TV, from established series like This Is Us, Grey's Anatomy and NBC's Chicago trilogy to newer favorites like 9-1-1 and Station 19. And that's not even including reality and game shows, where Fox's The Masked Singer is reigning as the most popular show on TV. But as of right now, there is no big, landmark sitcom on network television. There's no Big Bang Theory or Modern Family or The Office that stands as a hallmark of the network that props all other shows up. There's some modestly-rated, decent-sized hits (like the aforementioned shows), but no major smashes. And even if you take critical acclaim into account, nothing is drawing raves the way shows like The Good Place did just a few years ago.

So will this continue? I have to imagine there will be a landmark show to break through sooner or later. Sitcoms have gone through rough patches before - most recently in the time between Friends ended and The Big Bang Theory and The Office took off to new heights, there was no real smash hit sitcoms, just some modest hits. Still, the TV landscape has changed so much that the next sitcom hit might not look like the hits of the past. Perhaps it will be a streaming series - there have been some successful sitcoms on streaming services, like Grace and Frankie and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but nothing blockbuster to the levels of the biggest streaming shows. The closest has been possibly Schitt's Creek, which is actually a cable sitcom (Pop TV) but took off on Netflix. So what will be the next big sitcom hit? The networks certainly hope it'll be one of their own. But has TV changed too much for a broad, hit comedy to make it? Only time will tell.


Chad

TNT, TBS and truTV unveil March and April premiere dates for three new and two returning shows. The programming slate includes TBS' new single-camera comedy Chad (April 6) and returning top-rated animated comedy American Dad! (April 19). Two new series join truTV's line-up, including limited series Double Cross with Blake Griffin (March 19-20) and magic prank show Big Trick Energy (April 15). Rounding out April, as previously announced, the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards(R) will be simulcast on April 4 on both TNT and TBS. Chad, a single-camera comedy, follows a 14-year-old pubescent Persian boy (Nasim Pedrad) as he navigates his first year of high school on a mission to become popular. Chad's friendships and sanity are pushed to the limits as he uses every tactic at his disposal to befriend the cool kids, while enduring his mother's new dating life and reconciling with his cultural identity. Pedrad, who first made her mark on Saturday Night Live, is also creator, writer, executive producer and showrunner on Chad. The series will air Tuesdays at 10:30pm.

American Dad!

American Dad! centers on super patriotic CIA agent Stan Smith (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) and the misadventures of his unconventional family in Langley Falls, VA. Stan applies the same drastic measures used in his job at the CIA to his home life, where Stan's blissfully unaware wife, Francine (Wendy Schaal), has an unfaltering loyalty that makes her blind to his unabashed arrogance. His left-wing activist daughter Hayley (Rachael MacFarlane), however, doesn't let him off so easily - and knows just how to push her father's buttons. Hayley's brother is the geeky-yet-confident Steve (Scott Grimes), a kid who spends his time playing video games and obsessing about the opposite sex. The Smith cabinet is rounded out by two rather unconventional members: Roger (MacFarlane), a sassy, sarcastic and routinely inappropriate space alien, and Klaus (Dee Bradley Baker), an attention-starved goldfish with the brain of a German Olympic skier. The series will air Mondays at 10pm.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, February 4

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 30)

Friday, February 3

  • Eddie Murphy (The PJs) - Watch Eddie on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place/Barry) - D'Arcy appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Tyler James Williams (Abbott Elementary/Go On/Everybody Hates Chris) - Tyler is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Kenan Thompson (Kenan/Kenan & Kel) - Kenan appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Will Arnett (Murderville/Arrested Development/Flaked/The Millers/Up All Night/Running Wilde) - Will is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Harrison Ford (Shrinking) - Harrison talks about the prequel series 1923 on NBC's Today some time between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Wendell Pierce (The Odd Couple/The Michael J. Fox Show/The Weber/The Brian Benben Show/The Gregory Hines Show) - Wendell unpacks the new TV series Accused on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Craig Robinson (Killing It/Ghosted/Mr. Robinson/The Office/Lucky) - Craig is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer talks about taking on the controversial role of religious leader and Christian diet guru in her Lifetime film Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Rita Moreno (One Day at a Time/Happily Divorced/9 to 5) - Rita appears on The Jennifer Hudson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Connie Britton (SMILF/Lost at Home/The Fighting Fitzgeralds/Spin City) - Connie talks about Dear Edward on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony discusses his "Get Real with Diabetes" campaign on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.


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

Frasier - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Ghosts - Season One Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Ten Growing Pains - The Complete Series

11/08 - Frasier - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/08 - Young Rock - Season Two (Blu-ray) (DVD)
11/15 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Seven / The Complete Season Eight
11/22 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/29 - Ghosts - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
12/06 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - 70th Anniversary Ultimate Christmas Collection
12/13 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season
12/13 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/03 - Andy Richter Controls the Universe - The Complete Series (2023 Release)
01/27 - Master of None - Season Three / The Complete Series
02/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Nine / The Complete Season Ten
02/28 - Growing Pains - The Complete Series
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

02/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: New Episodes of King of the Hill and Futurama in the Horizon; Night Court and That '90s Show Get Second Seasons
02/03 - NBC Renews Night Court for Season 2; CBS and Fox Pick Up Dramas for 2023-24
02/02 - Paramount+ Begins Production on Frasier; Blindspotting Premieres 2nd Season in April
02/01 - Hulu to Revive King of the Hill; Apple TV+ Orders Season 3 of Acapulco
01/31 - Remembering Sitcom Legend Cindy Williams of Laverne & Shirley; HBO's The Last of Us Renewed for Season 2
01/30 - Paramount+ Series Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Launches Feb. 16; Remembering Lisa Loring of The Addams Family
01/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 30, 2023)
01/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Neil Patrick Harris Reprises Character on How I Met Your Father; Rick and Morty Co-Creator Fired From Series
01/27 - NBC Celebrates Carol Burnett's 90th Birthday in April; Fox Renews The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob's Burgers for 2 Seasons Each; Remembering Yoshio Yoda of McHale's Navy and Carole Cook of The Lucy Show
01/26 - CBS Renews Bob Hearts Abishola for Season 5; Marc Maron HBO Special Premieres February 11
01/25 - BUZZR Wigs Out for Laughs on Friday; The CW's Comedic Launches
01/24 - CBS Renews The Neighborhood for Season 6; Lifetime's New February Ripped from the Headlines Movies Starring Chrishell Stause and Samantha Mathis
01/23 - OWN Acquires Insecure Starting in February; Season 2 of Bel-Air Gets Tatyana Ali to Recur
01/22 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 23, 2023)
01/21 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Night Court a Success for NBC; South Park Season 26 Premiere Date Set
01/20 - Amazon Freevee Orders The Pradeeps of Pittsburgh; ABC's 20th Anniversary of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
01/19 - TCA Winter 2023 Press Tour: Apple TV+; HBO's Rain Dogs Premieres March 6
01/18 - getTV Reveals Magnum P.I. Timeslot; Onyx Collective Bringing More Programming to Hulu
01/17 - TCA Winter 2023 Press Tour: Hulu, NBCUniversal; Antenna TV Valentine's Day Marathon
01/16 - Zoey 101 Movie Zoey 102 Coming Soon to Paramount+; Starz Picks Up Minx
01/15 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 16, 2023)
01/14 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Pair of Popular Broadcast Sitcoms Renewed for Third Season; Malcolm in the Middle Movie in the Works?
01/13 - TCA Winter 2023 Press Tour: FX; NBC Alters Midseason 2023 Schedule
01/12 - TCA Winter 2023 Press Tour: ABC/Freeform; Antenna TV's Designing Women Super Belle Special
01/11 - All in the Family Coming to MeTV; 80th Golden Globe Winners
01/10 - SAG Nominations Live on Instagram Live; Remembering Earl Boen of It's a Living and Adam Rich of Eight Is Enough
01/09 - Wednesday Is Netflix's Top Hit of the Year; CBS Renews Fire Country
01/08 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 9, 2023)
01/07 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Wednesday to Get Second Season at Netflix; Call Me Kat Pays Tribute to Leslie Jordan
01/06 - SNL Announces Guest Hosts, Including Aubrey Plaza; Paramount+ Orders Series Starring Nicole Kidman
01/05 - Stop-Motion Animated Series Shape Island Premieres January 20 on Apple TV+; ABC's New Year's Eve Coverage is Still Rockin'
01/04 - Full House Removed from MeTV; Return to Outer Banks for Season 3 on February 23 on Netflix