Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We've Got A Situation

I just watched the Mary Tyler Moore Show reunion on Oprah. It wasn't the first MTM reunion I've seen, but it was the first time I thought while watching it that the grand tradition Mary started almost 40 years ago seems to have ground to a halt.

The 1970s was a great era for sitcoms, with Mary's being the best. For most years since then, sitcoms have been at or near the top of the ratings. But now the form is almost dead, and the few good sitcoms around are either one-camera (i.e., not live on tape) or animated.

I wonder what would it take to see a return to former glory? I can't say, but I'm pretty sure it starts with the writing.


Blogger New England Guy said...

Is it the writing or does the form just feel odd and jarring now since it has not been used for a while and may not be that familiar a form to the the prime buying demographic. When the creaky camera, faux reality look starts to feel stale (I don't think it is) maybe writers will look for something new by looking at something old

6:36 AM, May 20, 2008  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I don't think it's the form, since it was continuously on the air and highly popular for at least 30 years starting in 1970. The last time the sitcom looked dead, The Cosby Show came on the air, along with Golden Girls, and it was on top again. I don't see why this can't happen, but you've got to have something that captures the public. What the content will be, I can't say, of course. But I hope they keep trying.

9:08 AM, May 20, 2008  
Blogger VermontGuy said...

I'm trying to remember the last sitcom I watched with regularity. I think it might be "All in the Family".

5:20 AM, May 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on -- "The Office?" "30 Rock?" I think they're making a comeback.

6:01 PM, May 23, 2008  
Blogger LAGuy said...

The Office and 30 Rock are not hits--the only sitcom in the top 20 this season (and it barely made it) is Two And A Half Men. Also. notice I am talking about the live before a studio audience type of sitcom, which neither of these are.

11:53 AM, May 25, 2008  

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