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, June 19

Henry Danger - "Manlee Man" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Captain Man's diva antics are off-the-racks at the 100th annual Swellview Fashion Show; with help from some fashion-forward twins, Danger Force tries to uncover the dangerous mystery behind Captain Man's return to the runway.

Tyler Perry's Young Dylan - "My Fair Charlie" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Charlie seeks Dylan's help when he has a crush on a girl, but Dylan's rap music-informed advice clashes with Rebecca's more feminist take on how Charlie should handle the situation.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 14)

Friday, June 18

  • Aidy Bryant (Shrill) - Watch Aidy on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. He talks about Netflix's Fatherhood on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He guest co-hosts a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Dana is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Krasinski (The Office) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jodie Foster (Paper Moon/The Courtship of Eddie's Father) - Jodie is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Keke Palmer (Scream Queens/True Jackson, VP) - Keke appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Cheers/Frasier/Back to You/Hank/Partners) - Kelsey is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Ilana gives all the details about her new film False Positive on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey and Michael Bolton talk about The Celebrity Dating Game on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Annaleigh Ashford (B Positive) - Annaleigh is a guest on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Joel McHale (Community/The Great Indoors - Chief Happy Hour Officer Joel shares his signature cocktail, The Five O'Clock Fizz, on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Annie Murphy (Kevin Can F**k Himself/Schitt's Creek) - Annie talks about AMC's Kevin Can F**k Himself on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Jean Smart (Hacks/Samantha Who?/Center of the Universe/The In-Laws/Designing Women) - Jean chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.


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

Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series Happy Together - The Complete Series 'Til Death - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Series Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series

02/02 - Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In - The Complete Series (2021 Retail Release)
02/16 - Fam - The Complete Series
02/23 - Betty White's Pet Set - The Complete Series
03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two
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)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

06/19 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Perfect Strangers Reboot in the Works; New Head of the Class DVD Release
06/18 - Fri-Yay: Master of None Pivots Genres in Season 3; Highway to Heaven Event Movies Coming to Lifetime; Remembering Frank Bonner of WKRP in Cincinnati
06/17 - Antenna TV Summer 2021 Schedule; The CW Fall 2021 Premiere Dates
06/16 - All-Star Cast Set for Paramount+ Animated Comedy Series; Home Makeovers with Marsai Martin
06/15 - Netflix's Popular Never Have I Ever Returns July 15; Peacock's Girls5eva Renewed for Season 2
06/14 - Chicago Fire Finally Heads to Syndication; Peacock Picks Up New Comedy Which Takes Place at a Singing Competition
06/13 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 14, 2021)
06/12 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Valerie Bertinelli Cast in Comedy Pilot with Demi Lovato; Broadway Version of The Nanny in the Works
06/11 - Fri-Yay: Kim's Convenience Is An Underrated Streaming Sitcom; Ted Revived as Series for Peacock
06/10 - CNN's History of the Sitcom Premieres July 11; Miracle Workers Returns to TBS for 3rd Season This Summer
06/09 - Antenna TV's Bewitched Double the Darrins Father's Day Marathon; HBO Max Renews Hacks for 2nd Season
06/08 - COZI TV Father's Day Marathon: Herman Munster vs. Dan Conner; Paramount+ Bolsters Offerings This Summer
06/07 - Who Are You, Charlie Brown? Debuts June 25 on Apple TV+; FX, FXX and FX on Hulu Announce 8 Premieres for Summer/Early Fall
06/06 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 7, 2021)
06/05 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Warner Bros. and Discovery Merger Moving Forward; Saturday Night Live Ends Season 46 on Top
06/04 - Fri-Yay: Happy Endings Now on Netflix, a Perfect New Comedy Binge; Remembering Arlene Golonka of Mayberry R.F.D.
06/03 - Leah Remini GSN Game Show Receives 2nd Season; Helen Mirren to Narrate ABC's When Nature Calls
06/02 - black-ish Coming to Freeform in July; TBS Sets Cast for Comedy Pilot Called Space
06/01 - Remembering Gavin MacLeod of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Love Boat; Mr. Big Returns in New Sex and the City Chapter
05/31 - Memorial Day 2021 TV Marathons
05/30 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 31, 2021)
05/29 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Looking at the Fall 2021 Lineup; Amazon to Buy MGM
05/28 - Fri-Yay: Friends Reunion Special Thoughts; Breeders Renewed for Season 3 on FX
05/27 - NBC Launches NBC Summer Games, Schedules Family Game Fight; Modern Love Returns Aug. 13 on Amazon Prime Video
05/26 - The CW Gets Nostalgic with The Waltons & Scooby-Doo; A Black Lady Sketch Show Coming Back for Season 3
05/25 - The CW Upfront 2021-22: Fall 2021 Schedule; Former Grey's Star Joins Sex and the City New Chapter
05/24 - TBS Launches Best of Friends Awards; AMC Networks Adds to All-Star Cast of Ultra City Smiths
05/23 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 24, 2021)
05/22 - SitcomsOnline Digest: First Look at Reboot of The Wonder Years; Kaley Cuoco Signs Development Deal with Warner
05/21 - Fri-Yay: First Look at the 2021-2022 Sitcom Slate; NBC Books Eighth and Final Season Premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine for August 12
05/20 - TNets Upfront: Chad and Wipeout Renewed for Second Seasons in 2022; The Dick Van Dyke Show in Color on CBS Friday (May 21)
05/19 - CBS Upfront 2021-22: Fall 2021 Schedule; HBO's Betty Returns June 11