Friday, July 8, 2016
JULY 8 THE TOP TEN SITCOMS OF ALL TIME
The totals are in from Hollywood and it doesn't look good. A record 162 TV shows were cancelled after the 2015 - 16 season. Granted: Twenty years ago, there were only four networks...compared to the 34 today...but it is still a staggering number nonetheless. Also surprising was the number of sitcoms on the cancelled shows list. Even shows with big names like Rob Lowe got the axe. While the sitcom genre seems simple, the truth is it takes a complicated mix of writing, celebrity and silliness to create the perfect situation comedy. But when you succeed, you've captured the nation's heart. Here are the top ten of all time:
#10 Big Bang Theory. 9 seasons. 2007 - present. Once the butt of many a sitcom joke, Nerds today are on top. The Fonz would be amazed! One of the geeks on the show (Leonard Hofstadter) even has a gorgeous blonde girlfriend. As expected, much of the humor is found when the socially-challenged dudes try to interact with the real world.
#8. Gilligan's Island. 3 seasons. 1964 - 67. While it's rare to pick super-silly situations for today's shows, this was the norm back in the sixties. Talking horses, magical jeanies and shipwrecked castaways dominated prime time lineups. Gilligan stood above the others. Balancing outstanding physical comedy, high speed camera tricks and jokes galore, it is seared in every American's memory forever.
#6. Friends. 10 seasons. 1994 - 2004. Here, we follow the trials and tribulations of six buddies in Manhattan. For ten years, they dated each other, two got married and two broke up. For ten years, America dutifully tuned in every Thursday to find out what's next. The final episode in 2004 was the most watched TV event of the decade.
#4. Seinfeld. 9 seasons. 1998 - 98. Billed as a "show about nothing" this program instead focused on the minutiae of daily life. Plots revolved around a series of coincidences that miraculously get solved in under thirty minutes. While many sitcoms use the formula of inserting a successful stand-up comedian as the lead, Seinfeld succeeded by surrounding him with an amazing supporting cast. Who doesn't instantly laugh at Cosmo Kramer?
#2. I Love Lucy. 6 seasons. 1951 - 57. When TV first began in 1950, it was horribly boring: Dull newscasts, the Texaco Star Theater and slow Westerns. Yawn. Then along came the world's first situation-comedy. I Love Lucy wrote the book on how the genre is to be done: Take Lucille Ball and place her in outrageous plots. In a way, all future sitcoms are just a re-hash of Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel.