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November 23, 2014

ABC vows to bring funny back

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 18th 2009 3:03PM
The network that brought you Family Matters, Cavemen and is still bringing you the parade of unfunny that is According to Jim wants to bring the sitcom back to its rightful throne on the airwaves.

ABC made a solemn vow to bring back more hit, half-hour sitcoms to the airwaves starting with the new TV season, according to Variety.

The network's heads made their announcement at last week's Television Critics Association gathering.

The network's head of entertainment, Steve McPherson, said he wants the network to return to the days of Roseanne and Home Improvement because he knows tough times are ahead and people will need a lot of "comfort food" to help the pain go down. He also feels a "certain intimacy" is missing in the sitcom's absence, which is an astute and observant way to describe it. With the exception of How I Met Your Mother, there isn't a traditional, popular sitcom on the air right now.

So, how does the Alphabet network plan on bringing the funny back to television? Will they take new risks and give starving creative minds an outlet to create the next new cult comedy sensation or bring to life some poignant and touching new television comedy about the foibles of everyday life? Hell no. They are playing it safer than a kid who wears two cups to his first little league baseball game.

McPherson hinted at giving Desperate Housewives producer Marc Cherry some more airtime with a new show. He squashed the rumors that King of the Hill would find a new home on the network, but confirmed that Mike Judge's new show The Goode Family will air in May. And as for According to Jim, McPherson said it was probably done but added "never say never." Just say never already.

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Rich

Okay, Family Matters was dumb and cheesy, but Steve Urkel made me laugh then and he makes me laugh now. There. I've said it.

January 19 2009 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

ABC will bring funny back then cancel it after 2 seasons.

January 18 2009 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Butters

I am not exactly sure what your definition of "traditional, popular sitcom" is, but wouldn't all these be considered sitcoms and are reasonably popular?

Scrubs
Two and a Half Men
New Adventures of Old Christine
The Bill Engvall Show

Even comedies with a slightly different style like The Office and Kath and Kim, 30 Rock and My Name is Earl could be considered sitcoms.

January 18 2009 at 8:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Butters's comment
Argus

The Office wouldn't be, as it is a single camera show shot in Mockumentary style. The others could be stretched to fit though.

January 18 2009 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kindred20002

Well they struck gold with Pushing Daisies and then went off and canceled such a great show right after the writers strike. What ABC needs to do more of is let the shows have a chance. They are SO out to drop a show - especially if they don't own it - if the show has low ratings instead of promoting it accordingly and taking the time to nurture the show. Think, Friends had terrible ratings it's first season and had the network not stuck with them we would have never had so many laugh filled seasons. ABC if you want to improve on your comedies then give them a chance. And BTW BRING BACK PUSHING DAISIES!

January 18 2009 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kindred20002's comment
royce

Friends was a top ten show in it's first season. If you would have said Cheers or Seinfeld ok, but Friends was a hit out of the gate.

January 18 2009 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Donna

Okay, how is HIMYM the ONLY "a traditional, popular sitcom on the air right now"?

What about The Big Bang Theory? TBBT makes me think of MANY traditional, popular sitcoms in that old genre called "buddy comedy." Think of Perfect Strangers, Bosom Buddies, Laverne & Shirley, and especially The Odd Couple -- all of which had two main buddy characters who lived together, often who were opposites in some way. And all had a strong supporting cast which together created a fantastic ensemble.

January 18 2009 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Donna's comment
Josh

I love HIMYM, but it really isn't a traditional sitcom as it's filmed, then showed to an audience to supply the laugh track.

January 18 2009 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jj

TBBT may be traditional, but it certainly is NOT funny.

January 18 2009 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sahil

I think they were doing alright, with regards to shows like Carpoolers. I wish they'd bring that back.

I miss Marmaduke.

January 18 2009 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Espy

Bring back Carpoolers! That show was *always* funny.

January 18 2009 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JD

You tools needs to get of your high horse about these types of sitcoms. These are the only ones on TV where the whole family can watch. That what made the TGIF block a good idea.

January 18 2009 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to JD's comment

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