Friday, March 19, 2021

Fri-Yay: Evaluating the 2020-2021 Freshman Sitcom Class; Damon Wayans Jr. to Star in TBS Pilot Kill the Orange-Faced Bear

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!

Young Rock

by Vincent

Believe it or not, in just a few short months we will be at the end of the 2020-2021 TV season. It's certainly been a non-traditional season, and while the TV season has long been a window of time that's evaportated someone in the advent of cable and streaming services, it feels even less relevant in the time of COVID, where most shows were delayed and some shows, indeed, still haven't returned. Still, it seems like a good time to evaluate the freshman class of sitcoms. And, frankly, it's a fairly uninspiring class. Some of it could be blamed on COVID causing less pilots to be finished in time to be picked up to series. Still, the new sitcoms on broadcast TV this fall don't inspire a lot of long-term confidence.

The buzziest new shows belong to NBC, as Young Rock and Kenan both come from established names. Unsurprisingly, Young Rock in particular has drummed up the most interest of any new sitcom - and yet still, the show's ratings and buzz have fallen quite a bit from where they premiered several weeks ago. Other freshman series include Call Your Mother on ABC and Call Me Kat on FOX. Call Me Kat attracted some eyeballs early on, but like Young Rock, those ratings have largely faded. And Call Your Mother has not done particularly well, either, and has attracted very little critical acclaim or buzz.

Overall, it's yet another disappointing year for broadcast TV sitcoms. With broadcast television increasingly relying more and more on unscripted hits to weather the tide of falling TV ratings, we are desperately in need for a well-made sitcom to steer the changing tides.


Damon Wayans Jr.

TBS announced that it has cast Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Endings, Let's Be Cops), Jessy Hodges (Indebted, Barry), Alex Karpovsky (Homecoming, Girls), and Nate Torrence (Hello Ladies, Weird Loners) in its upcoming scripted comedy pilot, Kill the Orange-Faced Bear. The pilot is scheduled to begin shooting in Portland in May. Kill the Orange-Faced Bear is a comedy pilot about one man's epic revenge journey after a bear eats his girlfriend. Damon Wayans Jr. will play Hank, the charming, funny and grieving man who's hell-bent on tracking down the bear who attacked his girlfriend on a camping trip. We'll follow his side of the story as well as the bear's, who is just trying to move on from the incident and navigate the other idiot bears in her life. Jessy Hodges will play Stacy, Hank's late girlfriend, as well Jamie, her twin sister with a confusing secret. Alex Karpovsky is Ronnie, an oddball park ranger who has a score to settle with Hank. Nate Torrance is Murray, Hank's best friend and boyfriend to Jamie, who is just trying to keep everyone together.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, October 6

Young Sheldon - "Future Worf and the Margarita of the South Pacific" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon and Missy try to help the family’s finances. Also, Mary struggles to find her footing without the church.

Ghosts - "Alberta's Podcast" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Sam decides to host a podcast exploring the mystery surrounding Alberta’s death. Also, Hetty develops an unusual relationship with a broken washing machine.

Welcome to Flatch - "Blackout" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
A major heatwave passes through Flatch and gender-reveal cakes, lizards and chickens are melting when the town has a blackout; everyone must band together to stay cool, but wild antics and chaos erupt.

Call Me Kat - "Call Me Skeeter Juice" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
It's time for Sheila to renew her driver's license, but she refuses to go take the test; Phil urges the group to try his mama's moonshine despite their skepticism; Max finally sells a song to be used in a national commercial.

Atlanta - "Work Ethic" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
One time I was gonna be an extra on this TV show but then they started asking me about Social Security numbers and taxes and being up there at 5am. I know y'all ain't doing that with Taraji.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 3)

Thursday, October 6

  • Tony Hale (HouseBroken/Veep/Arrested Development) - Catch Tony on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Zach Woods (Avenue 5/Silicon Valley/Playing House/The Office) - Zach appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) - Constance will be on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Mila Kunis (Family Guy/That '70s Show) - Mila is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Wendell Pierce (The Odd Couple/The Michael J. Fox Show/The Weber/The Brian Benben Show/The Gregory Hines Show) - Wendell talks about making history by starring in the revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, becoming the first Black actor to take on the classic role of Willy Loman on Broadway, on Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Do Not Disturb/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry is a guest on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Fran Drescher (Indebted/Happily Divorced/Living with Fran/The Nanny/Princesses) - Fran talks about her new picture book N is for The Nanny on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect) - Zachary talks about his memoir Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others on Sherri, so check your local listings.
  • Mike Myers (The Pentaverate) - Mike talks about Amsterdam on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Tori Spelling (Mystery Girls/So Notorious) - Tori talks about Love at First Lie on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


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

The Neighborhood - Season Four Young Sheldon - The Complete Fifth Season The Adventues of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Five Mr. Mayor - The Complete Series (DVD) Abbott Elementary - The Complete First Season

06/14 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Eleventh Season
06/14 - Hacks - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/14 - Rutherford Falls - Season One (Blu-ray) (DVD)
06/21 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season One / The Complete Season Two
07/19 - The Neighborhood - Season Four
07/19 - Reno 911! - The Hunt for QAnon (Blu-ray) (DVD)
07/26 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Three / The Complete Season Four
08/16 - And Just Like That... - The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. - Canada)
08/16 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Fourth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/06 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/20 - Kim's Convenience - The Complete Series
09/27 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Complete Season Five / The Complete Season Six
10/04 - Mr. Mayor - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
10/04 - The Munsters - Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Cast
10/18 - Abbott Elementary - The Complete First Season
More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

10/06 - Apple TV+ Presents Ghostwriter Season 3; Nick Sitcom The Really Loud House Premieres Nov. 3
10/05 - HBO Max Orders Chuck Lorre Sitcom; Acapulco Returns Oct. 21, Trailer Released
10/04 - Abbott Elementary Season 2 Premiere Soars in Viewership; Sarah Hyland Heads to Freevee to Host Series
10/03 - Community the Movie Set for Peacock; Finding Happy Hits Big on Bounce TV
10/02 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of October 3, 2022)
10/01 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Community to Finally Get a Movie; Marla Gibbs to Appear on Grey's Anatomy
09/30 - NBC Orders Mike O'Malley Sitcom with Jon Cryer; Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin Premieres Nov. 23; Remembering Mork & Mindy and Perfect Strangers Creator Dale McRaven
09/29 - Epix Rebrands to MGM+ in January 2023; Jack's Back with More Kindness on Apple TV+
09/28 - Mike Epps Gets HGTV Series; black-ish's Marsai Martin Headlines Paramount+ Comedy Film
09/27 - COZI TV Fall 2022 Schedule; FX Announces New Drama Premiere Date for Hulu
09/26 - Tudum: A Netflix Global Fan Event Recap; The White Lotus Season 2 Premieres Oct. 30
09/25 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 26, 2022)
09/24 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Addams Family Based Series Wednesday; Peacock Cancels Queer as Folk
09/23 - FX Renews Reservation Dogs for Season 3; Stars of Young Sheldon Head to The Price Is Right at Night
09/22 - Bounce Dramedy Finding Happy Premieres Saturday (Sept. 24); Roku's Kevin Hart Comedy Adds More Stars for Season 2
09/21 - ABC Extends Jimmy Kimmel Live Through Season 23; Peacock Orders Animated Comedy
09/20 - CBS Announces New Holiday Special; The CW Halloween Specials
09/19 - Rewind TV's Sabrina, The Teenage Witch-O-Ween Halloween Marathon; Iliza Shlesinger Returns to Netflix
09/18 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 19, 2022)
09/17 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Saturday Night Live Adds New Cast Members for New Season; Streaming Media Mergers in the Works?
09/16 - The CW's A Waltons Thanksgiving Airs Nov. 20; Rewind TV's A Week of Very Special Episodes Includes Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life and More; Remembering Mark Miller of Please Don't Eat the Daisies
09/15 - Antenna TV Celebrates The Bewitched Witch-O-Ween Marathon; Avenue 5 Returns October 10 on HBO
09/14 - Rick and Morty Season 6 Premiere Is a Hit; FX Brings Comedy Specials to Hulu
09/13 - 74th Primetime Emmy Awards Winners; HBO Max Renews Rap Sh!t for Season 2
09/12 - MeTV Celebrates M*A*S*H 50th Anniversary with The Best by Farr; The Simpsons Season 33 Coming to Disney+
09/11 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of September 12, 2022)
09/10 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Laverne Cox Comedy from Norman Lear Lands Freevee Series Order; Fox Looking Into Adult Animated Drama
09/09 - Dancing with the Stars Season 31 Cast; Great Scott! Back to the Future Reunion at New York Comic Con This Fall
09/08 - COZI TV Acquires Monk, Bones and Las Vegas; HBO Max Renews Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin
09/07 - Rewind TV Fall 2022 Schedule; Back to School Abbott Elementary Marathon
09/06 - Antenna TV Fall 2022 Schedule; BUZZR Celebrates 50 Years of The Price Is Right