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A sitcom, clipping for situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centred on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.

In linguistics, clipping is the word formation process which consists in the reduction of a word to one of its parts. Clipping is also known as "truncation" or "shortening".

Genre is any form or type of communication in any mode with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. Genre is most popularly known as a category of literature, music, or other forms of art or entertainment, whether written or spoken, audio or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria, yet genres can be aesthetic, rhetorical, communicative, or functional. Genres form by conventions that change over time as cultures invent new genres and discontinue the use of old ones. Often, works fit into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions. Stand-alone texts, works, or pieces of communication may have individual styles, but genres are amalgams of these texts based on agreed-upon or socially inferred conventions. Some genres may have rigid, strictly adhered-to guidelines, while others may show great flexibility.

Comedy genre of dramatic works intended to be humorous

In a modern sense, comedy refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters. The theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old." A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a relatively powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender very dramatic irony which provokes laughter.


A situational comedy television programme may be recorded in front of a studio audience, depending on the programme’s production format. The effect of a live studio audience can be imitated or enhanced by the use of a laugh track. During filming productions, the laugh track is usually pre-recorded. [1]

Studio audience

A studio audience is an audience present for the recording of all or part of a television program or radio program. The primary purpose of the studio audience is to provide applause and/or laughter to the program's soundtrack. Additionally, live studio audiences produce an energy off of which the actors can feed, as well as push actors to perform to the best of their abilities. Unlike relying on the ideal chuckles that a laugh track consistently provides, actors have to work for the laughs. A studio audience can also provide volunteers, a visual backdrop and discussion participants. On some game shows, contestants are taken from the studio audience, such as with The Price Is Right.

A laugh track is a separate soundtrack for a recorded comedy show containing the sound of audience laughter. In some productions, the laughter is a live audience response instead; in the United States, where it is most commonly used, the term usually implies artificial laughter made to be inserted into the show. This was invented by American sound engineer Charles "Charley" Douglass.

Critics disagree over the utility of the term "sitcom" in classifying shows that have come into existence since the turn of the century. Many contemporary American sitcoms use the single-camera setup and do not feature a laugh track, thus often resembling the dramedy shows of the 1980s and 1990s rather than the traditional sitcom. [2] Other topics of debate have included whether or not cartoons, such as The Simpsons or Family Guy , can be classified as sitcoms. [3]

Single-camera setup method of film making and video production

The single-camera setup, or single-camera mode of production, also known as Portable Single Camera, is a method of filmmaking and video production.

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

<i>Family Guy</i> American animated sitcom

Family Guy is an American animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children, Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog, Brian. The show is set in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island, and exhibits much of its humor in the form of metafictional cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture.


The terms "situational comedy" or "sitcom" were not commonly used until the 1950s. [4] There were prior examples on radio, but the first television sitcom is said to be Pinwright's Progress , ten episodes being broadcast on the BBC in the United Kingdom between 1946 and 1947. [5] [6] In the United States, director and producer William Asher has been credited with being the "man who invented the sitcom", [7] having directed over two dozen of the leading sitcoms, including I Love Lucy, from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Pinwright's Progress was a British sitcom that aired on the BBC Television Service from 1946 to 1947 and was the world's first regular half-hour televised sitcom. The ten episodes, which aired fortnightly in alternation with Kaleidoscope, were broadcast live from the BBC studios at Alexandra Palace. Still photographs are all that remain of the show's transmitted form.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The UK's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

By country


There have been few long-running Australian-made sitcoms, but many US and UK sitcoms have been successful there. UK sitcoms are a staple of government broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC); in the 1970s and 1980s many UK sitcoms also screened on the Seven Network. By 1986, UK comedies Bless This House and Are You Being Served? had been repeated by ABC Television several times, and were then acquired and screened by the Seven Network, in prime time. [8]

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia's national broadcaster founded in 1929. It is currently principally funded by direct grants from the Australian government, but is expressly independent of government and partisan politics. The ABC plays a leading role in journalistic independence and is fundamental in the history of broadcasting in Australia.

Seven Network Australian broadcast television network

The Seven Network is a major Australian commercial free-to-air television network. It is owned by Seven West Media Limited, and is one of five main free-to-air television networks in Australia. Channel Seven head office is based in Sydney.

In 1981, Daily at Dawn was the first Australian comedy series to feature a regular gay character (Terry Bader as journalist Leslie). [9]

Daily at Dawn was an Australian sitcom that screened in 1981 on the Seven Network. The series was written and produced by Gary Reilly and Tony Sattler, the team behind other popular Australian comedy series such as Kingswood Country, Hey Dad..! and The Naked Vicar Show.

In 1987, Mother and Son was winner of the Television Drama Award presented by the Australian Human Rights Commission. [10] [11]

In 2007, Kath & Kim's first episode of series four attracted an Australian audience of 2.521 million nationally, [12] the highest rating ever for a first episode in the history of Australian television, [12] until the series premiere of Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities in 2009 with 2.58 million viewers. [13]

In 2013, Please Like Me was praised by the critics, [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] receiving an invitation to screen at the Series Mania Television Festival in Paris. [21] and has garnered three awards and numerous nominations. [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] Also in 2013, At Home With Julia was criticised by several social commentators as inappropriately disrespectful to the office of Prime Minister, [30] the show nevertheless proved very popular both with television audiences — becoming the most watched Australian scripted comedy series of 2011 [31] — and with television critics. [32] Nominated to the 2012 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards for Best Television Comedy Series. [33]


Although there have been a number of notable exceptions, Canadian television networks have generally fared poorly with their sitcom offerings, with relatively few Canadian sitcoms attaining notable success in Canada or internationally. [34] According to television critic Bill Brioux, there are a number of structural reasons for this: the shorter seasons, typical of Canadian television production, make it harder for audiences to connect with a program before its season has concluded, and put even successful shows at risk of losing their audience between seasons because of the longer waiting time before a show returns with new episodes; the more limited marketing budgets available to Canadian television networks mean that audiences are less likely to be aware that the show exists in the first place; and the shows tend to resemble American sitcoms, in the hope of securing a lucrative sale to an American television network, even though by and large the Canadian sitcoms that have been successful have been ones, such as Corner Gas or King of Kensington , that had a more distinctively Canadian flavour. [34] Conversely, however, Canadian television has had much greater success with sketch comedy and dramedy series. [34]

The popular show King of Kensington, aired from 1975 to 1980, prior to the start of the fourth season drew 1.5 to 1.8 million viewers weekly. [35]

Corner Gas, which ran for six seasons from 2004 to 2009, became an instant hit, averaging a million viewers per episode. [36] It has been the recipient of six Gemini Awards, and has been nominated almost 70 times for various awards. [37]

Other noteworthy recent sitcoms have included Call Me Fitz , Schitt's Creek , [38] Letterkenny and Kim's Convenience , [39] all of which have been winners of the Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy Series.


Sitcoms started appearing on Indian television in the 1980s, with serials like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (1984) and Wagle Ki Duniya (1988) on the state-run Doordarshan channel. Gradually, as private channels were allowed, many more sitcoms followed in the 1990s, such as Dekh Bhai Dekh (1993), Zabaan Sambhalke (1993), Shrimaan Shrimati (1995), Office Office (2001), Amrutham (Telugu serial) , Khichdi (2002), Sarabhai vs Sarabhai (2005) to F.I.R. (2006–2015), Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, (2008–present), Uppum Mulakum (2015–Present) , and the present most successful "Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain" (2015-present). [40] [41] SAB TV is one of the leading channels of India dedicated entirely to Sitcoms.


El Chavo del Ocho , which ran from 1971 to 1980, was the most watched show in the Mexican television and had a Latin American audience of 350 million viewers per episode at its peak of popularity during the mid-1970s. [42] The show continues to be popular in Hispanic America as well as in Brazil, Spain, United States and other countries, with syndicated episodes averaging 91 million daily viewers in all of the markets where it is distributed in the Americas. [43] [44] Since it ceased production in 1992, the show has earned an estimated billion in syndication fees alone for Televisa. [44]

New Zealand

Gliding On , a popular sit-com in New Zealand in the early 1980s, won multiple awards over the course of its run, including Best Comedy, Best Drama and Best Direction at the Feltex Awards. [45]


The first Russian sitcom series was "Strawberry" (resembled "Duty Pharmacy" in Spanish format), which was aired in 1996–1997 on the RTR channel. However, the "boom" of Russian sitcoms began only in the 2000s — when in 2004, the STS started very successful sitcom "My Fair Nanny" (an adaptation of the American sitcom "The Nanny"). Since that time sitcoms in Russia were produced by the two largest entertainment channels of the country — STS and TNT. In 2007 the STS released the first original domestic sitcom — "Daddy's Daughters" (there were only adaptation before), and in 2010 TNT released "Interns (sitcom)" — the first sitcom, filmed as a comedy (unlike dominated "conveyor" sitcoms).


Although styles of sitcom have changed over the years they tend to be based on a family, workplace or other institution, where the same group of contrasting characters is brought together in each episode. English sitcoms are typically produced in one or more series of six episodes. Most such series are conceived and developed by one or two writers. The majority of British sitcoms are 30 minutes long and are recorded on studio sets in a multiple-camera setup. A subset of British comedy consciously avoids traditional situation comedy themes and storylines to branch out into more unusual topics or narrative methods. Blackadder (1983–89) and Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister (1980–88, 2013) moved what is often a domestic or workplace genre into the corridors of power. A later development was the mockumentary in such series as The Office (2001–3).

United States

Most American sitcoms generally include episodes of 20 to 30 minutes in length, where the story is written to run a total of 22 minutes in length, leaving eight minutes for advertisements. [46]

Some popular English shows have been successfully adapted for the US. [47]

Sitcoms on US radio

Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll of Amos 'n' Andy in 1929 Amos andy 1929 postcard.JPG
Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll of Amos 'n' Andy in 1929

The sitcom format was born in January 1926 with the initial broadcast of Sam 'n' Henry on WGN radio in Chicago, Illinois. [48] The 15-minute daily program was revamped in 1928, moved to another station, renamed Amos 'n' Andy , and became one of the most successful sitcoms of the period. It was also one of the earliest examples of radio syndication. Like many radio programs of the time, the two programs continued the American entertainment traditions of vaudeville and the minstrel show.

The Jack Benny Program , a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades, is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century American comedy. [49]

Fibber McGee and Molly was one of radio's most popular sitcoms of the 1940s. [50] The weekly half-hour domestic sitcom starring real-life husband and wife Jim Jordan and Marian Driscoll ran from 1935 to 1956 on NBC.

Sitcoms on US television


Mary Kay and Johnny , aired from 1947 to 1950, was the first sitcom broadcast on a network television in the United States and was the first program to show a couple sharing a bed, and the first series to show a woman's pregnancy on television. [51] [52]

The main cast of The Honeymooners in 1955 The Honeymooners full cast 1955.JPG
The main cast of The Honeymooners in 1955

I Love Lucy , which originally ran from 1951 to 1957 on CBS, was the most watched show in the United States in four of its six seasons, and was the first to end its run at the top of the Nielsen ratings (an accomplishment later matched only by The Andy Griffith Show in 1968 and Seinfeld in 1998). The show is still syndicated in dozens of languages across the world, and remains popular, with an American audience of 40 million each year. [53] Colourised edits of episodes from the original series have aired semi-annually on the network since 2013, six decades after the series aired. [54] [55] It is often regarded as one of the greatest and most influential sitcoms in history. In 2012, it was voted the 'Best TV Show of All Time' in a survey conducted by ABC News and People Magazine . [56]

The Honeymooners debuted as a half-hour series on 1955 and was originally aired on the DuMont network's Cavalcade of Stars and subsequently on the CBS network's The Jackie Gleason Show , [57] which was filmed in front of a live audience. Although initially a ratings success—becoming the #2 show in the United States during its first season—it faced stiff competition from The Perry Como Show, [58] [59] and eventually dropped to #19, [59] [60] ending its production after only 39 episodes (now referred to as the "Classic 39"). The final episode of The Honeymooners aired on September 22, 1956. Creator/producer Jackie Gleason revived The Honeymooners sporadically until 1978. The Honeymooners was one of the first U.S. television shows to portray working-class married couples in a gritty, non-idyllic manner (the show is set mostly in the Kramdens' kitchen, in a neglected Brooklyn apartment building). [61] Steven Sheehan explains the popularity of The Honeymooners as the embodiment of working-class masculinity in the character of Ralph Kramden, and postwar ideals in American society regarding work, housing, consumerism, and consumer satisfaction. The series demonstrated visually the burdens of material obligations and participation in consumer culture, as well as the common use of threats of domestic violence in working class households. [62] Art Carney won five Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Ed Norton — two for the original Jackie Gleason Show, one for The Honeymooners, and two for the final version of The Jackie Gleason Show. He was nominated for another two (1957, 1966) but lost. Gleason and Audrey Meadows were both nominated in 1956 for their work on The Honeymooners. Meadows was also nominated for Emmys for her portrayal of Alice Kramden in 1954 and 1957. [63] [64] In 1997, the episodes "The $99,000 Answer" and "TV or Not TV" were respectively ranked #6 and #26 on "TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time" [65] and in 1999, TV Guide published a list titled "TV's 100 Greatest Characters Ever!" Ed Norton was #20, and Ralph Kramden was #2. [66] In 2002, The Honeymooners was listed at #3 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and #13 on their list of the "60 Greatest Shows of All Time" in 2013. [67]


The Andy Griffith Show , first televised on CBS between 1960 and 1968, was consistently placed in the top ten during its run. [68] The show is one of only three shows to have its final season be the number one ranked show on television, the other two being I Love Lucy and Seinfeld. In 1998, more than 5 million people a day watched the show's re-runs on 120 stations. [69]

The Dick Van Dyke Show , initially aired on CBS from 1961 to 1966, won 15 Emmy Awards. In 1997, the episodes "Coast-to-Coast Big Mouth" and "It May Look Like a Walnut" were ranked at 8 and 15 respectively on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. [70] In 2002, it was ranked at 13 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time [71] and in 2013, it was ranked at 20 on their list of the 60 Best Series. [72]

The main cast of M*A*S*H in 1974 MASH TV cast 1974.JPG
The main cast of M*A*S*H in 1974

The Mary Tyler Moore Show ran from 1970 to 1977, winning 29 Emmy Awards. MTM Enterprises, the studio formed to produce it, would produce dozens of sitcoms from the 1970s through the 1990s.

The series M*A*S*H , aired in the U.S. from 1972 to 1983, and was honoured with a Peabody Award in 1976 and was ranked number 25 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time in 2002. [73] [74] In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it as the fifth-best written TV series ever [75] and TV Guide ranked it as the eighth-greatest show of all time. [76] The episodes "Abyssinia, Henry" and "The Interview" were ranked number 20 and number 80, respectively, on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time in 1997. [77] And the finale, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", became the most-watched and highest-rated single television episode in the U.S. television history at the time, with a record-breaking of 125 million viewers (60.2 rating and 77 share), [78] according to The New York Times . [79]

Sanford and Son , which ran from 1972 to 1977, was included on the Time magazine's list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time" in 2007. [80]

All in the Family , premiered on January 1971, is often regarded in the United States as one of the greatest television series of all time. [81] Following a lackluster first season, the show became the most watched show in the United States during summer re-runs [82] and afterwards ranked number one in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. It became the first television series to reach the milestone of having topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years. The episode "Sammy's Visit" was ranked number 13 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. [83] TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time ranked All in the Family as number four. Bravo also named the show's protagonist, Archie Bunker, TV's greatest character of all time. [84] In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked All in the Family the fourth-best written TV series ever, [85] and TV Guide ranked it as the fourth-greatest show of all time. [86]

One Day at a Time is a situation comedy developed by Norman Lear. The show aired on CBS and ran from December, 1975 until May, 1984. It followed a recently divorced mother and her two daughters as they dealt with the problems and situations that come with growing up, and raising kids in a single parent household. It is the first show to feature Valerie Bertinelli, and emphasised her character as the show progressed.

The main cast of Seinfeld, which aired from 1989 to 1998 on NBC Seinfeld actors montage.jpg
The main cast of Seinfeld , which aired from 1989 to 1998 on NBC

Cheers, which ran for eleven seasons, was one of the most successful sitcoms in the 80s, airing from 1982 to 1993. It was followed by a spin-off sitcom in the 90s, Frasier . During its run, Cheers became one of the most popular series of all time and has received critical acclaim. In 1997, the episodes "Thanksgiving Orphans" and "Home Is the Sailor", aired originally in 1987, were respectively ranked No. 7 and No. 45 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time. [87] In 2002, Cheers was ranked No. 18 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. [88] In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it as the eighth best written TV series [85] and TV Guide ranked it #11 on their list of the 60 Greatest Shows of All Time. [89]

The Cosby Show , airing from 1984 until 1992, spent five consecutive seasons as the number one rated show on television. The Cosby Show and All in the Family are the only sitcoms in the history of the Nielsen ratings, to be the number one show for five seasons. It spent all eight of its seasons in the Top 20. [90] According to TV Guide , the show "was TV's biggest hit in the 1980s, and almost single handedly revived the sitcom genre and NBC's ratings fortunes." [91] TV Guide also ranked it 28th on their list of 50 Greatest Shows. [92] In addition, Cliff Huxtable was named as the "Greatest Television Dad". [93] In May 1992, Entertainment Weekly stated that The Cosby Show helped to make possible a larger variety of shows with a predominantly African-American cast, from In Living Color to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air . [94]

Seinfeld , which originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from 1989 to 1998, led the Nielsen ratings in seasons six and nine, and finished among the top two (with NBC's ER ) every year from 1994 to 1998. [95] In 2002, TV Guide named Seinfeld the greatest television program of all time. [96] In 1997, the episodes "The Boyfriend" and "The Parking Garage" were respectively ranked numbers 4 and 33 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time, [97] and in 2009, "The Contest" was ranked #1 on the same magazine's list of TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time. [98] E! named it the "number 1 reason the '90s ruled." [99] In 2013, the Writers Guild of America named Seinfeld the No. 2 Best Written TV Series of All Time (second to The Sopranos ). [100] That same year, Entertainment Weekly named it the No. 3 best TV series of all time [101] and TV Guide ranked it at No. 2. [102]


The Nanny , aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, earned a Rose d'Or and one Emmy Award, out of a total of twelve nominations. [103] [104] The sitcom was the first new show delivered to CBS for the 1993 season and the highest-tested pilot at the network in years. [105] The series was also hugely successful internationally, especially in Australia. [106]

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a sitcom which ran from 1990 to 1996. The series stars Will Smith as a fictionalised version of himself, a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia who is sent to move in with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their Bel Air mansion after getting into a fight on a local basketball court. It became one of the popular sitcoms during the 1990s, despite only one Emmy nomination and moderately positive critical reception.

Friends , which originally aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004, received acclaim throughout its run, becoming one of the most popular television shows of all time. [107] The series was nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning the Outstanding Comedy Series award in 2002 for its eighth season. The show ranked no. 21 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and no. 5 on Empire magazine's The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. [108] [109] [110] In 1997, the episode "The One with the Prom Video" was ranked no. 100 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time. [111] In 2013, Friends ranked no. 24 on the Writers Guild of America's 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time and no. 28 on TV Guide's 60 Best TV Series of All Time. [100] [112] In 2014, the series was ranked by Mundo Estranho the Best TV Series of All Time. [113]

Frasier , with five wins in its first five seasons, set the record for most consecutive Emmy awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, a record that has since been matched by Modern Family . The series holds the record for most total Emmy wins, 37, shattering the record of 29 which had been set by The Mary Tyler Moore Show . Frasier is considered the most successful spin-off series in television history, beginning its run one season after Cheers went off the air, where the character of Frasier Crane had been appearing for nine years. Frasier ran from 1993 to 2004.


In early 2000s, Curb Your Enthusiasm premiered on HBO. The series was created by Larry David, who stars as a semi-fictionalized version of himself following his life after the end of his work in Seinfeld. Curb Your Enthusiasm has received high critical acclaim and has grown in popularity since its debut. It has been nominated for 38 Primetime Emmy Awards, and Robert B. Weide received an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for the episode "Krazee Eyez Killa". The show won the 2002 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. [114]

Two and a Half Men is a sitcom that originally aired on CBS for twelve series from 22 September 2003 to 19 February 2015. The success of the series led to it being the fourth-highest revenue-generating program for 2012, earning $3.24 million an episode.

Arrested Development is a sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz, which originally aired on Fox for three seasons from 2 November 2003 to 10 February 2006. A fourth season of 15 episodes was released on Netflix on 26 May 2013. After its debut in 2003, Arrested Development gained a cult following and received widespread critical acclaim, six Primetime Emmy Awards, and one Golden Globe Award. In 2007, Time listed the show among its "All-TIME 100 TV Shows"; [115] in 2008, it was ranked 16th on Entertainment Weekly 's "New TV Classics" list. [116] In 2011, IGN named Arrested Development the "funniest show of all time". [117] Its humour has been cited as a key influence on later single-camera sitcoms such as 30 Rock and Community . [118]

How I Met Your Mother was a sitcom which aired from 2005 to 2014 on CBS, lasting 9 series. The show won 9 Emmy awards and 18 awards in general, whilst being nominated for 72 awards. It became successful in many places across the world.

The Big Bang Theory was a sitcom named after the scientific theory. It began airing in 2007 on CBS and completed season 12, its final season, in 2019. The show was set in Pasadena, California and focused on five main characters (later on others get promoted to starring roles), Leonard Hofstadter (experimental physicist) and Sheldon Cooper (theoretical physicist) who live across the hall from aspiring actress Penny. Leonard and Sheldon are friends with Howard Wolowitz (aerospace engineer) and Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali (astrophysicist). Later additions include Bernadette Rostenkowski (microbiologist), Amy Farrah Fowler (neurobiologist), Stuart Bloom (comic-book store owner) and Emily Sweeney (dermatologist). Season 7 had 19.96 million viewers, the highest rated and watched series to date.

30 Rock is a satirical sitcom created by Tina Fey that ran on NBC from 11 October 2006, to 31 January 2013. 30 Rock received critical acclaim throughout its run, winning several major awards (including Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2007, 2008, and 2009 and nominations for every other year it ran), and appearing on many critics' year-end "best of" 2006–2013 lists. On 14 July 2009, the series was nominated for 22 Primetime Emmy Awards, the most in a single year for a comedy series.

The Office is a sitcom that aired on NBC from 24 March 2005 to 16 May 2013. It is an adaptation of the BBC series of the same name. The first season of The Office was met with mixed reviews, but the following four seasons received widespread acclaim from television critics. These seasons were included on several critics' year-end top TV series lists, winning several awards including four Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 2006. While later seasons were criticized for a decline in quality, earlier writers oversaw the final season and ended the show's run with a positive reception.


Modern Family is a mockumentary sitcom that premiered on ABC on 23 September 2009. The series is presented in mockumentary style, with the fictional characters frequently talking directly into the camera. The show won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in each of its first five years and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series four times, twice for Eric Stonestreet and twice for Ty Burrell, as well as the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedmy Series twice for Julie Bowen. It has so far won a total of 22 Emmy awards from 75 nominations. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in 2011.

Parks and Re-Creation , originally running from 2009 until 2015, was part of NBC's "Comedy Night Done Right" programming during its Thursday night prime-time block. The series received mixed reviews during its first series, but after re-working its tone and format, the second and subsequent seasons were widely acclaimed. Throughout its run, Parks and Re-Creation received several awards and nominations, including two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, six Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe win for Poehler's performance, and a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. In TIME 's 2012 year-end lists issue, Parks and Re-Creation was named the number one television series of that year. [119] In 2013, after receiving four consecutive nominations in the category, Parks and Re-Creation won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. It is widely considered one of the best sitcoms of all time. [120]

New Girl is a single-camera sitcom centered around a group of guy roommates adjusting to a new addition to their Los Angeles loft in the form of Jess, portrayed by Zooey Deschanel which premiered in 2010 on Fox. New Girl has received favorable responses from critics and was named one of the best new comedies of the 2011 fall season. The pilot episode drew 10.28 million U.S. viewers and a 4.8 adults 18–49 demo rating, making it the highest-rated fall debut for a Fox scripted show since 2001. The show has been nominated for several awards, including five Golden Globe Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a police sitcom set in the fictional 99th precinct in Brooklyn which premiered in 2013 on Fox. It has won two Creative Arts Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards: one for Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy and one for Andy Samberg for Best Actor — Television Series Musical or Comedy. Andre Braugher has also been nominated for three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for his performance.

One Day at-a-Time is a Netflix Original Series that aired on 6 January 2017. The series follows the same basic plot as an earlier sitcom of the same name, a recently separated woman raises her two children with the help of her mother and their building's governour. The first season has 13 episodes. One Day at-a-Time was renewed for a second season in March 2017.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Further reading