(This was written on February 17, 2009)
Remember back to the middle part of this decade, when everyone declared sitcoms (situational comedies) dead? Classics such as “Friends”, “Fraiser”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “That 70s Show”, “Will and Grace”, and “Malcolm in the Middle” were ending their great runs, and they were being replaced by medical and criminal dramas. TV critics lauded that sitcoms were dead.
Though we may still be in the medical/criminal procedural era of TV, I think it’s safe to say that sitcoms are back on the rise. Led by the innovating American version of “The Office”, sitcoms are starting to once again attract the valuable 18-49 demographic that advertisers so desperately want.
Yes, technically “The Office” isn’t a sitcom. But it isn’t the only half-hour show on the rise. This year, shows such as “How I Met You Mother”, “The Big Bang Theory”, and “Two And A Half Men” all reached series highs, despite their aging (“HIMYM” and “2.5 Men” are in their 4th and 6th seasons, respectively, and “BBT” is up over 22% from its season one averages).
Animated comedies are also on the rise. FOX originally cancelled “Family Guy” after 3 seasons, but due to massive popular demand and incredible DVD sales, FOX brought “Family Guy” back. It is now the cornerstone of what might be the most successful comedy block on television right now, FOX’s Sunday night animation block. These shows draw massive numbers in the 18-49 demo.
So enjoy the CSIs, the L&Os, NCIS, House, Grey’s, etc. But get ready to laugh. Comedies are coming back, and their coming back fast.