History of Sitcoms (Situation Comedy)

  • Sitcoms on the radio

    Sitcoms on the radio
    Sitcom format was born with the initial broadcast of Sam 'n' Henry on WGN in chicago. This was a 15 minute daily program.
  • Beginning of Sitcoms on U.S T.V.s

    Beginning of Sitcoms on U.S T.V.s the late 1940s, the sitcom was among the first formats adapted for the new medium of television. Most sitcoms were a half-hour in length and aired weekly.
  • Multiple-Camera Setup

    Multiple-Camera Setup Love Lucy brought a new way of filming sitcoms. Desi Arnaz is credited with the first successful use of the multiple-camera setup, where three cameras shoot the action on stage simultaneously and the best shots from each of the cameras are later edited together.
  • Family or Married Couple Sitcoms

    Family or Married Couple Sitcoms trend beginning in the 1960s was the expansion of the domestic comedy beyond the family or married couple. The Andy Griffith Show and The Brady Bunch were two popular sitcoms that featured families.
  • Fantastical Elements

    Fantastical Elements
    By the mid-1960s, sitcom creators began adding more fantastical elements to live cion sitcoms in the so-called high concept style. The regular characters of The Munters were modelled on the Universal Monsters and the eccentrc The Addams Family sprang from a series of cartoon comics.
  • Single Camera Filming Style

    Single Camera Filming Style
    Sitcom production of the 1960s mainly used the single camera filming style, which was more practical given the visual effects and sharp editing, features which were not possible with the same finesse in milti-camera production. Many of these programs were not filmed before live audiences, and featured a laugh track
  • Animated and Science Fiction Sitcoms

    Animated and Science Fiction Sitcoms animated sitcom was born during this period with The Flintstones and The Jetsons. the latter show was the first example of the science fiction sitcom subgenre
  • Returning to Three-Camera Shoot before Audiences

    Returning to Three-Camera Shoot before Audiences
    In the early 1970s sitcoms began to address controversial issues in a serious way, and largely returned to the three-camera shoot before live audience.
  • Videotape or Film?

    Videotape or Film?
    Many programs of this era were recorded on videotape as opposed to film. About half of the sitcoms on broadcast television airing between the mid-1970s and the late 1990s were shot on video
  • Topic of War in Sitcoms

    Topic of War in Sitcoms
    The topic of war was addressed in the sitcom M*A*S*H. the producers of M*A*S*H did not want a laugh track on the show, arguing that the show did not need one but CBS disagreed.
  • Sex and Titillation in Sitcoms

    Sex and Titillation in Sitcoms
    Sex and titillation became theme in late 1970s with the UK sitcom Man About the House and its US remake Three's Company. Soap and Mary Hartman are also notable sitcoms from this period which pushed the envelope of what was acceptable in television sitcoms
  • Stand-Up Comedians Staring in Sitcoms

    Stand-Up Comedians Staring in Sitcoms comic Bill Cosby starred in the sitcom The Cosby Show, which was the earliest of the current trend of ssuccessful sitcoms built around a stand-up comic's stage persona. Other Stand-Up comedians in sitcoms include Roseaane Barr, Gary Shandling, as well as most popular ones Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Ramano
  • Returning to Themes of Family Life and Parent-Child Relationships

    Returning to Themes of Family Life and Parent-Child Relationships
    Many American sitcoms of the 1980s such as Full House returned to themes of family life and parent-child relationshis, centered less on the social issues that defined many 1970 sitcoms.
  • Growth of Cable Television

    Growth of Cable Television
    By the mid-1980s, the growth of cable television and the success of first run sydication meant that television audiences were fracturing. Programming could now be targeted at specific audiences rather than at a general or adult audience, and this sincluded sitcoms too. Children were one of these audiences, and among the sitcoms made specifically for children were Saved by the Bell and Clarissa Explains It All.
  • Comedy Drama Sitcoms

    Comedy Drama Sitcoms
    The 1980s also saw a few comedy drama "Dramedy" programs. Examples include United States and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. These were largely unsuccessful
  • Rebirth of The Animated Sitcom

    Rebirth of The Animated Sitcom
    The early 1990s saw the rebirth of the anmated sitcom, a trend which continues to this day. Most notable is The Simpsons, the longest-running sitcom in US history. Other successful sitcoms of this subgenre include South Park, Futurama, Family Guy, and King of the Hill.
  • Featuring Ongoing Story Lines

    Featuring Ongoing Story Lines
    In the mid-1990s several sitcoms hve featured on going story lines. Seinfeld, one of the most popular U.S. sitcoms of the 1990s. Friends used Soap opera elements such as the end-of-season cliffhanger and gradually developing the relationships of the characters over the course of the series.
  • Rebirth of the Single Camera Shoots

    Rebirth of the Single Camera Shoots
    The early 2000s saw a rebirth of the single camera shooting style for half-hour sitcoms. With shows such as Scrubs, Mailcom in the Middle, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Mockumentary Sitcoms

    Mockumentary Sitcoms, the U.S. has been imitating previous work from the UK. This is known as Mockumentary in which fictituous events are pressented in documentary format, such as The Office, Modern Family, and Parks and Recreation
  • Continuation of Multiple Camera Setups

    Continuation of Multiple Camera Setups sitcoms that still used multiple camera setup before live audiences include Two and a Half Men, Yes Dear, The Big Band Theory, and Mike & Molly. Some shows, such as How I Met Your Mother, are filmed without a live audience present, a laugh track is added.