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There was a big front page article in the Los Angeles Times a few days ago on the state of sitcoms. Even if they are gifted comedians, at best they are relegated to “friends” of the blow-dried mannequins the network fight over to star in these shows. That cast picture will never be mistaken for a J-Crew ad. Another trend I see is networks hiring actors and inexperienced writers to write pilots. So big surprise when an actor the network likes turns in an amateurish draft. Of course the problem here is that networks avoid many of them became they’re no longer 25, and writers who are in demand would rather explore cable networks or other delivery systems where there is at least the potential of more freedom. One of the romantic comedies could give us the next Sam & Diane. But with networks pulling ALL the strings, what do you think the chances are of that happening?
You want to be the next SEINFELD or CHEERS or FRIENDS? And in no universe anywhere is a 1 share a hit sitcom in America. God forbid an actress has a large nose or an actor is prematurely balding. Even writers who can churn out good episodes fall short when they have to step up to the demands of a pilot. But it almost seems as if producers are purposely avoiding big laughs, as if they’re embarrassed by jokes. Kevin Reilly, recently fired as head of Fox, maintained that niche shows like THE MINDY PROJECT that were getting appalling ratings were successful because they could sell them. If your goal is to develop shows that get a 1 share that’s all you’ll get. I’ve seen the trailer to most new sitcoms and especially in the romantic comedies, there are a number of real pretty people who are not funny for a second.