March 28, 2004

rumors of its death are exaggerated

This week's Entertainment Weekly has a cover story: "Are Sitcoms Dead?" With the impending or already accomplished series finales of Frasier, Friends and Sex and the City, it's apparently time to ring the bell of doom. No, I haven't read the article yet. I don't need to. I know what it'll say and I'm amused. Because this happens in cycles. A few years ago, the one hour drama was doomed. Reality TV was going to demolish it. Then along came CSI and all its spinoffs and the excitement of various cutting edge HBO dramas and so on and so forth and lo! The drama is ascendant once more.

Actually, no, I think this goes back further, because I remember before Reality TV was a reality, reading doom-and-gloom articles about the death of drama because sitcoms were ascendant (a la Friends, etc.). Guess what? Drama didn't die. Sitcoms won't either. Maybe the networks will have to tweak their formulae. Maybe they'll have to make the new ones a smidge less idiotic to attract new viewers, though I wouldn't count on it. But someone will come up with a shiny new fun sitcom and it will be in the top ten, then the top five, then maybe even be number one in the ratings and the next spring, all the sitcom pilots will be picked up and lo! Sitcoms will be ascendant once more.

I love apocalyptic entertainment reportage.

Posted by Tamar at March 28, 2004 09:48 PM