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What is the recipe for a successful sitcom?

For every The Office, Friends, and Scrubs, you will find a Cavemen, Dads, or Clerks (not the movie, the TV spinoff). This is not to be divisive to those who who enjoyed the latter shows. These shows were rejected by both audiences and critics. Community was loved by critics but ignored my most audiences. The Big Bang Theory has had a strong audience for years but is critically reviled. How do you find the sweet spot that is technically good, and fan-pleasing enough to keep you from getting cancelled?

  • I actually like this question, as time and again there have been shows that have absolutely come from left field and startled the expectations of audiences, studios and critics, and equally as noted, ones believed for success that have boomed. I think a key component is in the ability to find a niche in the market that audiences were unthinkingly yearning for. But part of the alchemy is in the casting of particular actors in a role that either they resonate with or excel in the expression of. This would be a really interesting discussion, because it is a question without a single answer (as truly if there was an easy answer someone would be making millions off it). – SaraiMW 3 years ago
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  • Nice question - it does raise some interesting questions about the nature of what "successful" means, especially in sitcom terms; Friends (US) may have done well but it'll never dream of being anywhere near Peep Show (UK) or The Mighty Boosh (UK). They are stark in contrast, delivery but also in pathos and tone. I agree wholeheartedly that there are many angles and answers to this question which means it can only ever come back motives of the writers, how much they can be knowingly or unknowingly undermined and consequently, what's left of their motives after the industry process. That's perhaps where Friends meets The Mighty Boosh, they did what they wanted to do at the time and then backed themselves - which means, most importantly, that they wouldn't mind failing. If you're in it for the money, chances are it won't work anywhere near a s well and if you're invested in it. – MichaelHall 3 years ago
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