Are You Ready For Some… Sitcoms?

New Sitcoms 2016

Laughter is the best medicine, or so the saying goes. I do know that some silly sitcoms are the right prescription after a hard day at work. And, since they are only 30 minutes long, shorter if you tape them and fast forward through the commercials, they are a quick and easy smackerel of TV to watch! Comfort food to soothe the nerves…

There are many sitcoms to choose from. Several of the shows that were on last year will be back, plus there are a plethora of older sitcoms in syndication. But what about the new entries on the horizon? Is there anything interesting and fresh coming up this fall? Let’s take a look at what will be new.

Kevin Can Wait
 

KEVIN CAN WAIT CBS

CBS, premieres Mon. Sep. 19, 8:30 pm then moves on Oct. 24 to 8 pm

Kevin Can Wait is about a newly retired cop, Kevin, played by Kevin James. He has made all his plans for how he is going to spend his retirement, but of course, life never lets you make plans. He is forced to abandon his ideas when his oldest daughter drops out of college in order to support her fiancé. He wants his daughter to finish school, so his solution to this is to have his daughter and her fiancé move in with him and his family; let the fun begin!

The Good Place
 

The Good Place - Season 1

NBC, premieres Mon. Sep. 19, 10 pm then moves to Thurs. Sep. 22, 8:30 pm

Consider the case of a person who rightly belongs in the “the bad place” for the afterlife but mistakenly ends up in “The Good Place.” What would that look like? Would it cause a person to reconsider their life choices if redemption were still possible after death? Such is the case of Eleanor played by Kristen Bell, who decides to change her ways once she realizes she is in The Good Place. Of course, the scenario is complicated by the others she meets while there, as well as her own natural instincts to be bad.

Man With a Plan
 

MAN WITH A PLAN CBS

CBS, premieres Mon. Oct. 24, 8:30 pm

Many sitcoms base their comedy on the issues of everyday life with our families. Raising children, in particular, presents very fertile ground for laughs. Such is the case with this sitcom, where Adam, played by Matt LeBlanc, is forced to spend more time raising his kids when his formerly stay at home wife rejoins the workforce. The “fun” parent has lost his title it seems! Will he take the bad parenting advice offered up by his brother?

The Great Indoors
 

THE GREAT INDOORS CBS

CBS, premieres Thurs. Oct 27, 8:30 pm

The workplace is also a good place to set a situation comedy, since every office, shop, or whatever contains a variety of personalities and thus many types of interactions. In The Great Indoors, Jack, a famous adventure reporter who has traveled the world and experienced a lifetime of adventures, has taken an office position at a magazine with a staff of young people who have the technical and social media knowledge he lacks, but not his worldly experience. I see lots of potential for humorous communication problems.

Great News
 

Great News - Season 1

NBC, premiere date has not yet been announced

Moms and their daughters are a classic set up for the kind of tension needed to make a sitcom thrive. Add in a workplace, which is not the typical scenario for mother-daughter interactions, and watch the sparks! In Great News, a young woman named Katie finds that her mom has been brought on as an intern at the TV station where she works. I must admit to being pretty excited about this one because the mom is played by Andrea Martin from the original Second City TV.

Speechless
 

Speechless ABC

ABC premieres Wed. Sep. 21, 8:30 pm

Continuing with the family themes, Speechless features yet another driven mom, determined to do her best for her husband and children. The eldest child in the family, JJ, also happens to have cerebral palsy, and in fact the actor cast in the role does indeed have cerebral palsy in real life. Hopefully this program will be able to capture the battles the disabled and their families face every day in order to raise awareness.

American Housewife
 

AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE ABC

ABC, premieres Tuesday Oct, 11, 8:30 pm

Apparently this show has changed titles since the pilot was pitched. It was originally called “The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport” and the name was changed before the show was put on the schedule. It deals with a “regular” family living in what is described as an environment of perfect moms and their perfect children. This mom revolts against the notion of keeping up with the Joneses.

Son of Zorn
 

SON OF ZORN FOX

FOX, premieres Sunday Sep 25, 8:30 pm

Son of Zorn, a live action and animated hybrid, takes advantage of the ongoing uptick of interest in superheroes. A preview special aired Sunday night on FOX in anticipation of the premiere on the 25th.

Using the timeworn and yet very successful “fish out of water” trope, Zorn comes from a distant Pacific Island, where the inhabitants are animated. He is a great warrior there, but how will he adapt to life in suburbia? I watched the trailer for this show and it looked pretty funny. Zorn is voiced by Jason Sudeikis and Tim Meadows will play the fiancé of Zorn’s ex-wife.

Powerless
 

Powerless - Season 1

NBC, premiere date has not yet been announced

I mentioned this program in my article of two weeks ago when listing the new sci-fi programs I am looking forward to: What I am Excited About in Sci-fi/Fantasy TV for 2016-2017. However, I was mistaken about one thing. These people do not clean up after the epic battles super heroes fight, but rather are the insurance adjusters for the ordinary people who have their lives upended by the destruction left behind. And, in fact the Marvel movies and TV programs have made some mention of the destruction and clean up. So, having a show based on this very thing, i.e., someone has to pay, is awesome in my opinion! This series is being touted as the first comedy series set in the DC Comics universe. I wonder if that means we will get visits from famous DC Comics super heroes? Also, Alan Tudyk is in it; ’nuff said!

Making History
 

Making History

FOX, premiere date sometime in 2017

This is another program I listed in the article mentioned above. Making History is a time travel show, which gives us a really long distance romance, and throws in the “fish out of water” scenario so popular in these shows. Rather than having someone from history, like for instance Ichabod on Sleepy Hollow, adapt to modern times, our hero must adjust to colonial times. Of course, he messes with the timeline, which will likely have consequences. And, his love will probably have to adjust to life in 2016 at some point.

Downward Dog
 

Downward Dog ABC

ABC, premiere date sometime in 2017

My first thought when I saw this show was, “oh, wow – Allison Tolman”! I really loved her in Fargo, and now to have her on another series is exciting. This program is actually based on the web-series of the same name. Of course, telling the story from the point of view of an animal is nothing new, but it is still a fun way to give an outside perspective on life. Who does not love a philosophical dog?

Imaginary Mary
 

IMAGINARY MARY ABC

ABC, premiere date sometime in 2017

Another live action and animation hybrid program; this one does not deal with a super hero. Rather it contains the imaginary friend of the lead character. Voiced by Rachel Dratch, which can only bode well, Imaginary Mary appears at the worst times to give advice to the female lead – a typical but potentially fun scenario!

 

I tried to make this list as complete as possible, but if I missed a new sitcom, please let me know in the comments section below. I appreciate any help you can provide! Also let me know what you think about this fresh crop of programs, and which ones you might plan to watch.