term sitcom is short for situational comedy.It is a genre of comedy programming that originated over
the radio and since the 1950’s has become a dominant form of television medium.Sitcoms are
traditionally shown in 30 minute episodes.A highly successful sitcom can generate tens of millions
of weekly viewers.From the time of I Love Lucy to The Brady Bunch, MASH, The Cosby Show, The
Simpsons, Seinfeld, and Friends, some great sitcoms have entertained the world.Any one of these shows will
show up on a list of the Top 10 greatest situational comedies.I have decided to discuss 10 great television
programs that you might not have seen.
follows a working class couple in Chicago and their three kids, Brian, Lauren, and Tina.Bill and
Judy Miller are good parents, but their own past experiences often conflict with the lessons they try to teach to their
children. The entire ensemble cast is great.Ever episode of this show is entertaining and it
often uses crude and sexual humor, as most shows do.Still Standing was relatively popular for
CBS in its first few seasons, but gradually lost viewership and was canceled after 4 seasons.It had
some serious competition in its time slot.The show has been picked up for syndication by various
networks, including Lifetime in the U.S.
9. My So-Called Life
My So-Called Life was
an American television teen drama series created by Winnie Holzman.The show followed a group of teenage
students at the fictional Liberty High School.Many episodes of the program dealt with a variety of serious issues, including child abuse, homophobia, teenage alcoholism, homelessness, adultery, school violence, same
sex parenting, censorship, and drug use. It was a critically acclaimed program, but was canceled after only 19 episodes. The final episode of My So-Called Life ended in a cliffhanger, as producers expected the program to
be picked up for another season.
It was officially
canceled on May 15, 1995. My So-Called Life stars a young Claire Danes and Jared Leto.For its original
run in the United States, it aired on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET against four top-10 hit sitcoms including Mad About You, Friends, Martin, and Living Single.This undoubtedly contributed to the series' low ratings.As of August 10, 2009, Hulu.com has the complete series on their site to view for free.
Duckman is an animated
sitcom that was based on characters developed by Everett Peck in his Dark Horse comic.The series
consists of 70 episodes that aired on USA's Up All Night on Saturday nights on the USA Network.It is difficult to get noticed at this time slot, but the show made an impact on cartoon animation and writing. It soon gained a cult following. The series follows the adventures of a private detective duck
that lives with his family and sister-in-law Bernice (his late wife's identical twin). The tagline of the show, seen in the opening credits, is Private Dick/Family Man, Dick being sort for detective.The show featured a long list of guest stars, including Lisa Kudrow,
Burt Reynolds, Brendan Fraser, and Ice T. The title character
is voiced by Jason Alexander. It is one of the best
animated series ever developed and helped pave the way for the more edgy sitcoms we see today.The show was one of the first animated sitcoms to incorporate popular culture.The entire series of
Duckman has been released on DVD, but can’t be seen on network television.
was a sitcom that followed a fictional sports news show and the people who worked there.The business
was similar to ESPN’s Sportscenter.The characters of the show worked in various positions at
the studio, including anchor, managing editor, executive producer, and associate producers.The show
has some star power, including Robert Guillaume, Peter Krause, and Felicity Huffman.The episodes
followed the friendships, pitfalls, and ethical issues that the workers faced while trying to produce a good show under
constant network pressure. It was a funny show with some in depth and interesting content. The ensemble cast is great and the program is considered a comedy-drama, as it does contain some serious issues.Sports
Night will appeal to those interested in sports or business. I was surprised when it was cancelled by ABC.The show has been purchased for syndication by various television companies around the world.It
can be seen on Comedy Central in the U.S. and aired on ABC1 in the United Kingdom.Sports Night
has also been shown in Latin America and on Australia’s Channel 7.The complete series can be
purchased on DVD.
6. Yes, Dear
Yes, Dear is a show that follows Greg Warner, his wife Kim, and their two children.Kim's sister Christine Hughes and her husband Jimmy, along with their two sons,
Dominic and Logan live in the Warners' guest house.Jimmy has an easy going approach to life,
while Greg is extremely uptight.The acting in this show is great and Anthony Clark’s portrayal
of Greg is hilarious.Mike O'Malley is also good, but the best part of the show is the writing
and usual production.It doesn’t rely on wave of bad sex jokes to get by.
is noted for representing an average American family.During the shows run it received surprisingly
solid rating for CBS in spite of little to no promotion and a number of timeslot changes.Since the
end of Yes, Dear, the program has been purchased for syndication by various networks.Today,
it can be seen on TBS in America and the complete series has been released on DVD.
1975 & 1979
Fawlty Towers is a sitcom that was produced by BBC Television and first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975, although
only 12 episodes were ever made, the show has had a lasting impact in Great Britain.The program is set in the fictional hotel of Fawlty Towers located in the seaside
town of Torquay on the English Riviera. The series focuses on the exploits and misadventures of short-fused hotelier
Basil Fawlty, his wife Sybil, and their employees, Porter and waiter Manuel, maid Polly, and (in the second series)
chef Terry.The episodes typically revolve around Basil's efforts to succeed in raising the tone
of his hotel and his increasing frustration at the numerous complications and mistakes.
It is really a funny
and well written show.Fawlty Towers helped launch the career of English actor John Cleese, who wrote
and acted in the show.It is rare when a show with so few episodes has such large cultural impact.
You can purchase the complete series on DVD for a good price.This show is widely unknown in America
and I had to purchase the series in order to view it.
4. Quantum Leap
Quantum Leap is an American
television series that starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a scientist who becomes lost in time following a botched
experiment. In the series' first episode, Sam appears in the past with no memory of who he is or how he got
there. Referred to frequently throughout the series as a "swiss- cheesed brain," Sam's
partial amnesia prevents him from remembering most of the details of his own life; all he knows is that he's not
who everyone in the past seems to think he is.Fortunately Admiral Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell),
a former astronaut and Sam's best friend, appears to him as a hologram and explains that Sam is the victim of
a time travel experiment that went "a little caca.”
Sam is now lost in time, and his colleagues are having difficulty retrieving him and bringing him back to his own time.In the first episode, Sam soon realizes that he has assumed the identity of a man that he is meant to save.In each episode, Sam leaps into a new host body, often finding himself in dangerous, embarrassing, or otherwise
compromising positions, and with Al's help he tries to right some wrong or misfortune in the life of that person
or someone close to them.It is a unique show with a good final episode.
3. Bill Nye
the Science Guy
Bill Nye the Science Guy is an educational program that aired on PBS. It is a 30 minute show that was hosted by Bill Nye and each episode is designed to teach a specific topic in science to a preteen
audience.The show does a great job explaining each topic fully and has great learning visuals, charts,
experiments, and descriptions.Bill Nye the Science Guy is one of the most viewed educational videos
in the U.S.Thousands of teachers use the series to explain various scientific topics to their classes.
Bill Nye recorded 100 episodes and he covers one topic in each show.Some examples include
Dinosaurs, Gravity, Digestion, The Moon, Cells, Heat, Brain, Reptiles, the Water Cycle, and many others.The complete series of episodes has been released on DVD, but it is expensive and costs a couple hundred dollars. Bill Nye Videos are always being sold on e-bay.
Jericho is an American
action series that centers on the residents of the fictional town of Jericho, Kansas in the aftermath of nuclear attacks
on 23 major U.S. cities. The show was broadcast in more than 30 countries and was initially canceled in the United
States after its first season.However, a fan campaign was able to convince the network to bring the
show back for a seven-episode second season. In 2009, plans were announced for both a feature film version of the series
and a continuation of the Jericho storylines in a comic book series.The show remains cancelled.
The pivotal character in the story is Jake Green, who is
a 32-year-old son of Mayor Johnston Green. Jake Green fled to the town of Jericho five years earlier
when he became mixed up with the wrong people and involved in questionable activity. Jake briefly returns home to
claim his inheritance before becoming stranded as a result of the nuclear catastrophe.
1. The Wonder
The Wonder Years is a sitcom that ran on ABC for six seasons, from 1988 to1993. The show
was set in the time period of 1968-1973 and portrays many historic events and social issues. It is filmed
through the eyes of main character Kevin Arnold and his family. The Wonder Years also deals with many
teenage social problems. The great thing about this show is that it can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
The show did a great job explaining what it was like to grow up in the late 1960’s.
Years launched the career of the lovable Fred Savage (Kevin) and Danica McKellar (Winnie).The
voice over work of Kevin’s thoughts was done by popular actor Daniel Stern.The show was successful
and achieved a spot in the Nielsen Top Ten for two of its six seasons, but was by no means a #1 hit.The Wonder Years also won many awards during its six year run and Fred Savage became the youngest actor ever nominated
for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
an animated sitcom that was created by Matt Groening, who also developed The Simpsons.The series
follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, who after being "cryogenically" frozen for a thousand years, finds employment at Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery company in the 31st century.The episodes revolve around the Planet Express interplanetary delivery company and its employees.Futurama is set in New York at the turn of the 31st century, in a time filled with technological wonders.
It is a funny show and the first science fiction cartoon series.Futurama has gained an extensive following over the years and even has its own language, which appears in the background of episodes.The show received good ratings and managed 19 million viewers for its premiere episode. Today, it can be
seen on Comedy Central in the U.S. and was revived in 2007 as four straight-to-DVD films; the last of the four was
released in early 2009.