Sunday, May 31, 2015

Two Comedy Types: Single Camera versus Multi-Camera

You might not notice or care that there are two major types of comedies on television. I am, of course, only referring to the typical scripted sitcoms. Now there are two different types of them and ways to tell them apart. Believe it or not, a lot of TV shows are filmed with just one camera. They may take a while doing extra shots from other angles. But, ultimately, only one camera is used in most episodes.

A single camera sitcom is normally notable due to its lack of a live studio audience or laugh track, depending on which one is used by multi-camera shows. But we’ll get to that later. You see, not having any background noise other than what’s normally in an episode, single camera comedies can even become something like a fake documentary, like Modern Family is. Nobody who has seen Modern Family thinks that it should have laughter in the background. Now single camera shows haven’t always been this way, but they’ve been this way recently enough that probably all of them are like it now. You may notice that the current FOX live action sitcoms have no laughter in the background. They are all single camera shows at the moment. CBS almost never has a single camera comedy. They certainly don’t right now at least. Most of ABC’s comedies are single camera.

You might be wondering what examples of single camera comedies are. Well, here’s all of them that I could think of that are currently on the air: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth, Modern Family, The Middle, New Girl, The Goldbergs, and Black-ish.

Now multi-camera sitcoms could be considered the more classic approach at sitcom making. Most of the memorable early sitcoms were all produced this way. As you might expect, a lot of shows are still made that way today. Sometimes they have a live studio audience to record laughter. That’s typically how you know if something is multi-camera or not.

The multi-camera sitcoms that are still on the air are The Big Bang Theory, Mom, 2 Broke Girls, The Odd Couple, and Last Man Standing. There could be others still on the air. You might not know or care about the difference between muti-camera and single camera sitcoms. But now I’m done talking about it. I hope that you enjoyed this article.

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