When it comes to sitcoms or comedies on television, you might be wondering where different networks stand comparing to each other. As usual, thing can change with what network has the best comedies at different times. Originally, from best to worst, here’s how the networks used to stand: NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and the CW with the CW almost not even in the comedy business at all. For a while, they had no comedies at all. Of course, things can easily change. NBC comedies have taken a huge hit. They used to be much better than they are now. I have no idea what might have changed. I just know that NBC is no longer known as the best at comedies. Of course, opinions may be different. My favorite wasn’t even NBC. But, they were still better known at it than anyone else. It might have been CBS that changed it. Knowing that NBC is so well at it, CBS started airing comedies of their own against NBC’s successful Thursday night line-up. And that’s when NBC comedies started slipping. Soon, CBS slowly gave up some of their Monday comedy night and put more of their comedies on Thursdays. This could be why NBC is failing so much. It could also explain why the longest running live action sitcom come next television season (it’s already been renewed for next season) will be a CBS show: The Big Bang Theory. But, this is only one of many different notes regarding comedies on network television. Unfortunately, I will not get into all of them, but I will mention a lot that you may not know.
When the CW first became a network out of the remains of the WB and UPN, it had a few comedies from both networks survive to the new network. This created an odd number of comedies so they created a new one to even them out. Soon, however, they cut back the number of some of the comedies and it wasn’t long before they had none at all. The even got rid of their Sunday primetime hours, which is a bit unrelated. In fact, one can be surprised that there is a network as new as the CW because new networks don’t typically happen that often, if it happens at all. But that is another subject entirely. The CW was terrible at comedies, hence the reason they gave them up. But, they brought back a show called Whose Line is it Anyways? This show, originally from ABC, is now a CW show with mostly the same cast and new episodes. There were some other attempts during the summer to create new comedies, but they didn’t last too long. This might have made the CW the first ever network to stop doing a whole business for a while (between dramas, reality [also referred to as alternative at times to differentiate between them and news shows, among other things], and comedies, all of the major networks have one of those shows), even though it didn’t last.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel that I must state it again. Sitcoms have one of three things, a laugh track, no sound effects (except for general sound effects you’d typically hear in a show), or a live studio audience. Contrary to rumors you might hear, there is such a thing as a live studio audience. Sometimes you can tell, but sometimes you can’t. But there is a clear difference and I want to make that clear.
I’m not sure how else to describe sitcoms on TV. If you pay attention, you will see things change. FOX may not have much in live action sitcoms, but their animated programming is very popular. The CW struggles and typically doesn’t air anything. CBS is about half and half in terms of how good their shows are, but theirs are the most popular right now, even if they aren’t actually good. NBC used to be great with sitcoms but they’ve been off in recent seasons. Hopefully, for their sake, they can find better sitcoms. ABC is pretty good with sitcoms at the moment, but they remain a mixed success. They probably have the most popular, if CBS doesn’t. Sorry if this post was short.