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2007-08 Sitcom Scorecard -- The Office Merges With Success as the WGA Strike Shutters Sitcom Opportunities



Image result for the officeWritten Appalled at Sitcom Lows by Bridger Cunningham

Writer's Strikes wreak havoc like riots.  Little good comes out of disruptions and loss of revenue and ratings.  The devastating effects truncated seasons for several favorites and delivered a record low number of laughers at 26, dropping below the 1984-85 season's 27 entries.  As scripted fares were forced to go quiet until the dispute was resolved, a plethora of forgettable reality TV fluff.  CBS sitcoms reigned strong, and the few entries NBC boasted followed suit.  FOX held a mixed bag, and ABC had troubles with commercial gimmick comedies with only Samantha Who? and an ailing According to Jim returning.


NBC owes The Office a promotion for carrying it through one of the bleakest eras for sitcoms.  The observational humor scheduled a welcome departure from the bumbling antics of canned laughter and asinine familial issues.  After 7 heralded seasons, Scrubs moved to ABC after NBC shoved it off the schedule, lending a hand to the decimated network.  My Name is Earl lost its creative thunder as the title character rest in a coma and in prison for the season, and 30 Rock delivered another workplace delight.

CBS belched out success with toilet humor on Two and a Half Men, counteracted with a sophisticated taste of How I Met Your Mother.  New Adventures of Old Christine delivered at the same bar as HIMYM, and Rules of Engagement held durable and retained much of the toilet overflow of 2.5M.  Oh, and a gaggle of nerds debuted to mediocre ratings on The Big Bang Theory.  That show never stood a chance.  Elsewhere on FOX, King of the Hill received a welcome dose of TLC as it returned to the Simpsons/Family Guy 8:30 valley on Sundays after a disastrous 11th season.  'Til Death was ho-hum, and a trio of sitcoms ended, forgotten.

Most disappointing was ABC's atrocious offerings.  Carpoolers blew out its spare ratings, and Geico gimmick Caveman repulsed viewers.  Critical darling Samantha Who? had great promise and was shelved after the writer's strike.  And According to Jim ailed in its 7th season.  Sitcoms became critically endangered on CW was only Everybody Hates Chris survived and Girlfriends ended after 7 seasons.  Signs pointed toward extinction for the sitcom brand after this season, and it would be some time before sitcoms hit their stride again.  Cue the nerds and their hot centerpiece in 2010.

Source -- http://rashreport.com/pdfs/presspass/hreporter_20080522.pdf