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October 6, 2015

Is the new Must-See TV really Must-See?

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 28th 2005 10:51AM

So NBC has all these dramatic commercials that they're running over and over again, saying that they've had a long tradition of having the best comedies on Thursday nights, and starting next week they'll be a return to NBC's "Must-See Thursday" that they used to have when shows like Friends and The Cosby Show ruled the airwaves.

But will it really be "Must-See TV?" Sure, The Office is a great show, and I can see if becoming a classic, but is My Name Is Earl really "Must-See" worthy? I mean, yeah, it's a good show, but I don't know if it's been on long enough or has the wall-to-wall critical acclaim. And what about Four Kings and Will and Grace? Four Kings hasn't even been on yet (the pilot is getting mixed reviews at best) and Will and Grace is in its last season!

How does all this add up to the "Must-See" future of NBC comedy?

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I never watched Must-See-TV in its heyday, I was too busy watching Martin or something to that effect. Now, Im a big fan of The Office and My Name is Earl, but now I have a schedule conflict with the OC. So now I might have to buy another... vcr.

December 28 2005 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unfortunately, the new style and tone of The Office and Arrested Development has not really taken off, at least to network audiences. Both shows have struggled, with AD recently getting the ax. Shows that have a laugh track, on the other hand, become hits such as How I Met Your Mother, 2 and 1/2 Men, and (WTF?) The War at Home. What's up with that, by the way? Do people like being told when to laugh?

December 28 2005 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Winter

B.'s got it right. NBC's Must See Thursday's were never more than two good shows. While I disagree on what the filler is (Scrubs instead of The Office), My Name Is Earl and The Office are both strong enough to carry the night in a few years. It's a rebuilding year.

December 28 2005 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My Name is Earl had me at:

"Come on kids and eat your spaghetti."

One I got over the hold trailer trash angle, I still tuned in because (I can't believe I'm gonna say this) the show has heart. The guest stars like Bret Butler ["Don't judge me"] are added bonuses.

This is the only new show that I actually look for each week. Moving it to Thursday is fine with me, since that's one night I look at a lot of TV (I grew up on Must See TV, so now I've been conditioned, I guess).

December 28 2005 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Back when NBC's "Must See" Thursdays ruled the earth, the format was a great show at 8:00, filler at 8:30, another great show at 9:00, more filler at 9:30. Scrubs and Earl fit well at the 8:00 and 9:00 spots. The Office, well, it's better than Wings, and Will and Grace is better than Veronica's Closet.

December 28 2005 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My two tiny, humble cents:
The new style and tone used in The Office and Arrested Development will drive comedy for the next 10 years. Exit live audiences, they have laughed too much at too many bad jokes. Comedy has always been hard to sell to a mainstream audience, only a few cleverly written shows are remembered (Seinfeld, Friends...), the others being either too soft or too outrageous.
With the popularisation of easy tools for filmmaking, expect new talents to increasingly emerge from online communities, much like Andy Samberg and friends who just pumped in new juice in SNL in just one sketch.
The road will be bumpy, with some crap along the way, but the final destination is an improved comedy world.

December 28 2005 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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