They cost less to produce than one-hours, they do well in reruns and syndication, and cable networks rely on them to hold up their schedules. For the last few years they stubbornly developed primarily single-camera shows. What’s worse than the networks not having a clue is that they are now micromanaging every aspect of development. This year we have a bunch of upscale urban romantic comedies and families. Since we’ve gone several years without a hit, how about changing the game plan? How about hiring writers who know what they’re doing and have proven they can make audiences laugh and then just get out of the way?But networks are bemoaning that they have been unable to launch any blockbuster sitcom hits for years now. And with the exception of MODERN FAMILY (which was produced by the best writers of multi-cam comedies over the last twenty years) none have really clicked. They dictate the casting, the script, even the wardrobe and set dressing. The fact that anything good can come from this system is a miracle. You might snare that elusive monster hit that makes everybody rich.
"We have to have a peaceful transfer of power in this country," Robby Mook says of Hillary Clinton respecting the president-elect.
"When somebody wins the presidency, everybody has gotta get behind them ...
and help them be successful.""I’m not aware of any questions getting fed in,” Robby Mook says of leaked emails suggesting Donna Brazile fed debate questions to Hillary Clinton's campaign.
BIG BANG THEORY and MODERN FAMILY are the last legitimate hit sitcoms. Most of the people I know working in television are in sitcoms.
Networks are introducing 18 new sitcoms this fall hoping that even one grabs the brass ring. I want to see them all working – from writers to cameramen to warm up men.
You want to be the next SEINFELD or CHEERS or FRIENDS? And in no universe anywhere is a 1 share a hit sitcom in America. God forbid an actress has a large nose or an actor is prematurely balding. Even writers who can churn out good episodes fall short when they have to step up to the demands of a pilot.
But it almost seems as if producers are purposely avoiding big laughs, as if they’re embarrassed by jokes. Kevin Reilly, recently fired as head of Fox, maintained that niche shows like THE MINDY PROJECT that were getting appalling ratings were successful because they could sell them. If your goal is to develop shows that get a 1 share that’s all you’ll get. I’ve seen the trailer to most new sitcoms and especially in the romantic comedies, there are a number of real pretty people who are not funny for a second.
Big ratings result in syndication deals, more exposure, and quite possibly a hit.
Sitcoms today are created for niche audiences – in other words, 18-34. Yes, that’s the demographic Madison Avenue covets but it’s possible to cater to them without alienating the rest of your audience.
And although no one can predict what will be a smash hit, early indications are that none of the debuting comedies are the panacea Hollywood is looking for. although I have written and produced many shows that were giant hits so I do have a certain familiarity with the subject.
The word is just “more of the same.” Why has it been so difficult to hatch a monster hit sitcom lately?