A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a narrative forms.

A situation comedy laugh track.


[edit] Characteristics

As opposed to sketch comedy, a situation comedy has a storyline and ongoing characters in, essentially, a comedic drama. The situation is usually that of a family, workplace, or a group of friends through comedic sequences.

Traditionally comedy sketches were presented within a variety show and mixed with musical performances, as in episode and expect audiences to be familiar with them.

Sitcom humor is often character driven and by its nature status quo of the situation is maintained from episode to episode. An episode may feature a disruption to the usual situation and the character interactions, but this will usually be settled by the episode’s end and the situation returned to how it was prior to the disruption. These episodes are then linked by the overarching storyline, driving the show forward.

[edit] History

Comedies from past civilizations, such as those of Aristophanes and Menander in [3] having directed over two dozen of the leading sitcoms, including I Love Lucy, during the 1950s through the 1970s.

[edit] By country

[edit] Australia

Australia has not had a significant number of long running sitcoms, but many US and UK sitcoms have been extremely popular. UK sitcoms are a staple on the government broadcaster Seven Network. US sitcoms have been common on the three commercial networks.

There have been many Australian sitcoms throughout the history of Australian television, but many ran for just a single season – usually 13 half-hour episodes. Many successful Australian sitcoms were somewhat similar in style to UK comedies, and several closely followed the premise of earlier UK programs. An early successful situation comedy was The Group, and Our Man in Canberra.

In the 1970s, popular Australian soap operas Graeme Blundell in the title role.

By the late 1970s, Australian versions of popular UK comedies were produced using key personnel from the original series. These productions retained the title and key cast members of the original programs and operated within the same story world of the original. These comedies, Bobby Dazzler (1977) on the Seven Network.

The late-1970s sketch comedy series The Last of the Australians.

In the early 1980s, there were few Australian sitcoms, with soap operas being the more common genre produced in Australia. During this period however, the Bingles.

Kath and Kim began its run.

[edit] Canada

Canadian television comedy is equally divided between the sitcom, dramedy. Canadian English-language sitcoms compete directly for audiences with American-made sitcoms, which are widely available in Canada on basic cable television. Like American-made sitcoms, most Canadian sitcoms are half-hour programs in which the story is written to run a total of 22 minutes in length, leaving eight minutes for commercials. A few sitcoms are hour-long programs, with 16 minutes allowed for commercials.

Domestically, Canadian broadcasting is divided along linguistic lines. Due South.

Altogether, there are usually about half a dozen Canadian sitcoms airing new episodes at any given time, although many do not make it to a second season. However, many of the Canadian sitcoms which do make it receive syndicated airplay around the world.

The most successful Canadian sitcoms include Radio Enfer, and Rumeurs.

Canadian sitcoms have also explored animation and puppetry in sitcoms such as 6teen is syndicated in two dozen countries.

Particularly popular Canadian sitcoms have been honoured with statues and other monuments. A statue of Al Waxman as the “king” of Kensington can be found in Gibsons, British Columbia.

[edit] China

China, mainly Growing Pains, which dealt with real-life family issues and ran for over 350 episodes. It was known for featuring child actors, who have prominent roles throughout the series.

For the teen audience, China has produced the citation needed] and is filmed on-location and closed sets. Despite this, the series contains a laugh track, which is an uncommon practice used for single-camera programs.

Hong Kong has a strong number of sitcoms that differ from Mainland China’s programs. An average sitcom does not use a studio audience nor a laugh track to fill-in more dialogue for the characters. Also, many programs used large sets and locations to film more dynamically.

[edit] Czech Republic

Czech first sitcom called Nováci, which ran in 1995, was paused because of bad ratings and production ambitions create better one. In 1996 aired new sitcom Nováci 2, which was much worse than original series and was stopped after 52 episodes. Original series from 1995 has got 72 episodes. In 1996 aired 26 episodes of new series called Hospoda (Pub), which became very successful, so in 1997 was created secon series with 26 episodes again. In 1999 aired series called Policajti z předměstí (Suburb Cops) which was marked like unwatch and after 21 episodes was ended, but it has lot of fans today. In 2001 aired sitcom Duch Český and in 2008 Cyranův ostrov written by famous Czech country singer Ivan Mládek. In same year aired much less sitcom Profesionálové (Professionals), which was stopped after 11 episodes and which was inspirated ba very successful Slovakian version. In autumn 2008 starts first series sitcom Comeback which is best Czech sitcom, series had 30 episodes. In 2009 aired new series of Cyranův ostrov called Cyranův poloostrov with new main plot and in 2010 was present new version of Profesionálové with some new actors, new director or new scriptwriters. But in fact-it wasn’t very successful again. In same year in autumn present second series of Comeback which was very successful, series had 21 episodes, this is final series of Comeback meanwhile. In 2011 will be present Noha 22-new project of Ivan Mládek-sitcom from hospital and probably third season of Profesionálové.

[edit] Denmark

The first respected Danish sitcom was Langt Fra Las Vegas (Far From Las Vegas), written by Casper Christensen. It aired from 2001 until 2003. The series was about a TV station and the employees, but mainly Casper, played by Casper Christensen. The first season was called “Season 0” and was very different from the other 4 seasons. Kenny, played by Frank Hvam, was changed from a smart ass, to a nerd. The kid like Wulff, played by Mikael Wulff, was written out of the story. When Langt fra Las Vegas ended, Casper made up a new sitcom called Klovn (Clown), which ran from 2005 to 2009. Casper and Frank played themselves. When the series ended, Klovn – The Movie came in the cinemas one and a half year later. The movie got quite popular. Another of the more popular sitcoms was Kristian, which were written by Christian Fuhlendorff. Christian also played Kristian. The first season ran from November 2009, and had 10 episodes. In 2011, Christian Fuhlendorff announced on his Facebook, that there would be a second season in the Autum 2011. In the start of 2011 the sitcom Lykke (Lykke is the name of the protagonist. The name Lykke is Danish, and means “Happiness”) aired, and lasted 10 episodes. Not soon after its ending, DR1 announced that there would be another season.

[edit] New Zealand

New Zealand began producing television programs later than many other developed countries. Due to New Zealand’s small population, the two main New Zealand networks will rarely fund more than one or two sitcoms each year.[citation needed] This low output means there is less chance of a successful sitcom being produced to offset the failures.

Early sitcoms included Joe & Koro and Buck House. Later there was The Conjugal Rites was also made into a sitcom but by Granada in Britain.

In 1994, soap opera.

Most recently the duo Bret McKenzie (along with contributions from Kiwis Duncan Sarkies and Taika Waititi), but it is shot entirely in New York City, was co-created by an Englishman, James Bobin, and is funded by HBO, an American premium cable channel. It is the most popular sitcom ever produced featuring Kiwi comedians.

The most successful true NZ sitcom to date, which also utilizes the one-camera approach, is the Jaquie Brown Diaries. The first season (July 2008) ran for 6 episodes. The second season (Oct 2009) ran for 8 episodes.

Many British and American sitcoms are and have been popular in New Zealand.

It is commonly claimed that the primary difficulties for New Zealand comedy production are a prevailing attitude of cultural cringe wherein domestic products are viewed as automatically being inferior, and the market demand for profitability due to New Zealand having no strictly commercial-free channels. Both government-owned channels TVOne and TV2 are broadcast with commercials and cannot survive on government subsidies alone. Some suggest that Kiwi comedies which are viewed as commercially unreliable are often relegated to poor timeslots and not promoted by their networks. James Griffin, creator of TV3’s Outrageous Fortune, has noted that often Kiwi comedies get neglected to death such as his show Diplomatic Immunity did.

[edit] Serbia

Sitcoms on Serbian TV have a long and cherished tradition.[Otvorena vrata (90s).

[edit] Turkey

The first Turkish sitcom was “Kaynanalar” (Mothers in Law) that started in 1974 and ran for 30 years, until 2004. Telling the story of a typical Turkish family, Kaynanalar was very popular. Among the most loved modern sitcoms, “Avrupa Yakasi”, “Çocuklar Duymasin” and “Yahşi Cazibe” have also been very popular in Middle Eastern countries.[citation needed]

[edit] United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has produced a wealth of sitcoms, many of which have been exported to other nations or adapted for other countries. There is often a tendency towards Steptoe and Son).

British sitcoms have also tended to shy away from the folksy homespun nature of the American sitcom and into more adult or intellectual territory – disputed]

The BBC has had more success with this format than its commercial counterpart ITV. This is attributed to the fact that ITV has to allow for commercial breaks so programmes are several minutes shorter and thus do not allow for character and plot development.[dubious ]

Sitcoms such as Peep Show are shot with a point of view camera, which switches between the various characters, so that characters are seen talking directly into the camera.

[edit] United States

Most North American sitcoms are generally half-hour programs in which the story is written to run a total of 22 minutes in length, leaving eight minutes for commercials.[4]

Sitcoms made outside the US may run somewhat longer or shorter than 22 minutes. US commercial broadcasters have traditionally been very reluctant to run shows that run too short or too long. Thus, very few UK or British Commonwealth sitcoms run on US commercial television.[citation needed]

US sitcoms (like other American television series) typically have long season runs of 20 or more episodes due to the way they are produced. Canadian sitcoms typically only have season runs of 14 on average. British sitcoms have much shorter seasons in comparison where there are usually six episodes.

American sitcoms are often written by large teams of US resident script writers during round-table sessions, but some US sitcoms often do have episodes written by a guest writer. Most British sitcoms are written by one or two people, with four writers sometimes being the norm for some series in the recent past.[citation needed]

Usually sitcoms from the U.S. have satire and slapstick comedy in their status. America has made numerous sitcoms since 1947, including sitcoms aimed specifically at children and teenagers. A sub-genre of U.S. sitcoms, seen as early as the 1950s but more prominent since the 1970s, is the African American cast.

[edit] Sitcoms on U.S. radio

The sitcom format was born on January 12, 1926 with the initial broadcast of Sam ‘n’ Henry on WGN in Chicago.[citation needed] The 15-minute daily program was revamped in 1928, moved to another station, renamed Amos ‘n’ Andy, and became one of the most successful sitcoms from this period. It was also one of the earliest examples of radio syndication. Like many radio programs of the time, the two programs continued the American entertainment traditions of vaudeville and the minstrel show.

The Jack Benny Program was another important and formative sitcom (which also functioned as a variety show, depending on the week’s script and guest stars involved). The radio version began in 1932 and lasted until 1955. A televised version of the show ran from 1950 to 1965. In total, the show was broadcast for a third of a century.

Chic Young. The radio program had a long run on several networks from 1939 to 1950.

Fibber McGee and Molly was one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, airing on radio from 1935 to 1959. The show starred vaudevillians James “Jim” and Marian Driscoll Jordan and also had its roots in Chicago.

In 1947, African American actor in the lead role.

[edit] Sitcoms on U.S. television

Sitcoms, past and present, portray our culture’s ideology on the “traditional family” and the way it has evolved over the years. They often mirror the societal changes happening around them while portraying a comical, entertaining family that viewers themselves would like to have. Sitcoms from the past often depicted picture-perfect families with conservative values. Now, the obviously named show Modern Family has incorporated today’s more tolerable and not so “normal” cultural standards. In the past, sitcoms portrayed family members with gender and age related power, as well as those with different relationship preferences, from a narrow point of view whereas present ones show the extreme evolution of these topics as today’s culture becomes more and more accepting.

[edit] 1940s–1950s

In 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. Many of the earliest sitcoms were direct adaptations of existing radio shows, such as or The Jack Benny Program, or vehicles for existing radio stars such as Burns and Allen (The Burns and Allen Show) and film stars such as Abbott and Costello (The Abbott and Costello Show). Early sitcoms were broadcast live, recorded on kinescopes, or not recorded at all.

The Goldbergs which first aired on January 17, 1949. The television adaptation of Beulah in 1950 became the first TV sitcom with an African American in the lead. Both The Goldbergs and Beulah were early examples of sitcoms without a laugh-track or studio audience.

Early sitcoms done on film, though without the multiple-camera setup, included The Phil Silvers Show, was set on a US Army post.

[edit] I Love Lucy

rerun television program series.

[edit] 1960s

A trend beginning in the 1960s was the expansion of the domestic comedy beyond the nuclear family or married couple. blended family.

By the mid-1960s, sitcom creators began adding more fantastical elements to live action sitcoms in the so-called “Buddy Ebsen), the star of The Beverly Hillbillies.

Sitcom production of the 1960s mainly used the laugh track.

The animated sitcom was born during this period with science fiction sitcom subgenre.

[edit] 1970s

In the early 1970s sitcoms began to address controversial issues in a serious way, and largely returned to the three-camera shoot before live audiences. 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.

In the US Sanford and Son. In a major departure from earlier American sitcoms, these programs also had racially diverse casts.

Women’s liberation was the backdrop in a series of female-led sitcoms produced by Phyllis.

The topic of war was addressed in the sitcom Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Also during this time, vaudevillian origins of sitcoms and a harbinger of the 1980s – 1990s stand-up comedian sitcom trend.

In the mid-1970s, Nostalgia for the 50s was a major theme in both Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley.

Sex and titillation became a theme in late 1970s with the UK sitcom Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, are also notable shows from this period which pushed the envelope of what was acceptable in television sitcoms.

[edit] 1980s

In the 1980s, stand-up comic Everybody Loves Raymond) have also made the transition from stand up to the small screen with self-starring sitcoms.

To some extent, many American sitcoms of the 1980s such as Estelle Getty who did not star in any other shows, except guest appearances in shows.

By the mid-1980s, the growth of Clarissa Explains It All.

The 1980s also saw a few The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. These were largely unsuccessful.

[edit] 1990s

The early 1990s saw the rebirth of the King of the Hill.

This era also saw a significant return to film origination. The main reason for this was that it was seen as “future proofing” productions against any new developments such as HDTV. Programs shot on standard definition videotape in general do not convert well to HDTV, while images on 35 mm film can easily be re-scanned to any future format. In addition, recent developments in film camera and post-processing technologies had eroded the advantages of using videotape.

In the mid-1990s several sitcoms have featured ongoing story lines. The King of Queens are also noted for their long-term story arcs.

[edit] 2000 and after

The early 2000s and later saw a rebirth of the clarification needed]

Newer sitcoms that still used a multiple camera setup (before live audiences) include citation needed]

Modern critics have disagreed over the utility of the term “sitcom” in classifying shows that have come into existence since the turn of the century.[5] Certain individuals have raised the point that the shows in existence when the terminology “situational comedy” arose were highly invariant and aptly categorized as such. As a result, describing some modern shows (e.g., Louie, Curb Your Enthusiasm) as “sitcoms” has the unfortunate consequence of generating false expectations. It has been proposed that one camera setup shows would be better served to be removed from the sitcom classification and described in a taxonomy at the same level of sitcom as another type of comedy instead.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^
  2. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (2003). “Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy”. BBC Worldwide Ltd.
  3. ^ “William Asher – The Man Who Invented the Sitcom”, Palm Springs Life Dec. 1999
  4. ^ How Sitcoms Work, page 3.
  5. ^ /The Sitcom Reader: America Viewed and Skewed

[edit] Further reading

  • Lewisohn, Mark (2003) Radio Times’ Guide to TV Comedy. 2nd Ed. Revised – BBC Consumer Publishing. ISBN 0-563-48755-0, Provides details of every comedy show ever seen on British television, including imports.
  • Padva, Gilad (2005) Desired Bodies and Queer Masculinities in Three Popular TV Sitcoms. In Lorek-Jezinska, Edyta and Wieckowska, Katarzyna (Eds.), Corporeal Inscriptions: Representations of the Body in Cultural and Literary Texts and Practices (pp. 127–138). Torun, Poland: Nicholas Copernicus University Press. ISBN 83-231-1812-4
  • ISBN 0-09-941685-9 is a contemporary comic thriller set in London and Los Angeles that covers the financing, production, creation, ratings and marketing of a modern American network half-hour situation comedy

[edit] External links

Source: Wikipedia