Hot answers tagged

78

From BBC America - Five Bizarre Things About British Television: The Six Episode Season Most British drama or comedy shows have a very short season. The classic amount for comedies is just six episodes per series – The Office being a prime example – and there’s one very good reason for this. American comedy is a producer’s medium, in which an ...


20

To expand on Donald's answer, larger budgets in the US mean many more writers. American sitcoms are typically written in large teams (20+ writers), with one writer penning an episode that includes contributions from all on the team. (Incidentally The Simpsons' writers have stated on DVD commentaries that the credited writer only ends up with about 30% of the ...


14

The most likely explanation is simple economics. Since the US population is approximately five times that of Great Britain, the television viewership is significantly larger, allowing for larger budgets per episode and more total episodes.


9

I believe you're talking about Dweebs, a show described as: Warren ( Peter Scolari), was a young computer software writer whose programs had made him a legend in the industry. Unfortunately, he was painfully shy and socially maladjusted as well as eccentric ( to come up with ideas for the next " killer app," he bounced on a trampoline in his office). His ...


8

Yes, Any network could change their decision and cancel a show after renewing it or (more likely) order a small number of episodes. For example The Brink starring Jack Black. HBO renewed the show for season 2 then reversed the decision From this HBO Cancels The Brink The network has reversed its Season 2 renewal HBO has cancelled The Brink ...


5

A lot of this depends on the TV schedule, and if the season was filmed before it ran on TV. Some networks will purchase a season in it's completed form. This covers the costs of production and film crew. It's much more expensive to hire a crew for 12 weeks, then for 12 days. So you could film 12 episodes quickly and air them on TV over a weekly schedule to ...


5

Situational Comedy A sitcom, short for "situation comedy", is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms ...


4

Sure it can. If one of the main stars say or do something stupid, any show can get canned. For example professional Blowhard Donald Trump racist remarks resulted in Univision and NBC from dropping his shows. http://starcasm.net/archives/320385 “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” begins a statement issued by the ...


4

Lotion is not a metaphor for masturbation. It's evidence that the act has transpired, because it's a tool used in the act of masturbation. Kleenex is also used in the act.


3

The complex answer is yes and no. Sitcoms are "situation comedies" and therefore require a comedic value to situations. Let's be clear, the average person doesn't have 23 comedic situations per year. There may be that many or more misunderstandings, but most misunderstandings in romantic relations (let's skip politics) can be corrected before it escalates to ...


3

First of all, a sitcom is about one thing, being funny. In order to be funny, sitcoms sometimes play off of stereotypes about cultures. Stereotypes should never be used by one culture to judge another culture. An excerpt from the wikipage on the subject: A stereotype is a thought that may be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of ...


3

The purpose of the “B” story or subplot is so that the supporting characters in the program have something to do in addition to providing reactions to and validation for the actions of the protagonist. The B story/subplot interweaves with the main story and often provides the main story with added measure of heft that it may lack to to editing and the need ...


3

I would say so. Yes, audiences can be warmed up and put into a jovial mood, but, ultimately, the laughter you'd hear with a live audience would be a reaction to something that just happened, and the degree of reaction will depend on the quality of the writing/performing. Compare that to just inserting the same laugh sound at the end of every line, which ...


3

I think that Oliver_C has the best answer with information to back it up, but I would like to point out that there are many long running British shows too. Are You Being Served, Last of the Summer Wine to name two. The Office wasn't a hit when it first aired. It could be described as "brilliant but cancelled". Coupling aired in the U.S. and was quickly ...


3

Well, you say "sitcom," so by that definition we're looking for an ongoing series of comedic television shows where the episodes involve the same characters in a more-or-less stable setting. The first animated television series, by many accounts, was Crusader Rabbit, which ran from 1950-1959. It's not "adult" in any useful sense, and it's arguably too all-...


2

Lower quality writing associated with network shows is more likely a factor of the high number of episodes in a given season. (Note that shows regarded as "high quality" such as on HBO, Showtime or AMC have an extremely limited number of episodes. Gary Shandling talked about this at length in regards to the Larry Sanders show, which was one of the early ...


2

Max Headroom was cancelled partway into its second season, when it was put up against Miami Vice, on one network, and Dallas, on another, and basically died in the ratings due to it's time slot. The final episode makes ironic reference to this in a speech the character gives: "We will fight them on the beaches of Miami," said Max with the fervor of Winston ...


2

Another aspect that I didn't see mentioned is the fact that a lot (not all) of British shows are publicly financed (BBC/Channel 4). While a lot of the American shows are privately financed (network TV). As a business, if you have something that's making you money, you want to leverage that as long as you can. Whereas as a service for the public, one can ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible