Our friend Brian Stelter at the NYT has a piece today entitled, “In Bear Times, a Bull Market for Sitcoms” in which he talks about the increased number of sitcom pilots in the works for the broadcast networks (40 by his count).
While there may be more sitcoms in pilot this season, except for NBC, I find it hard to believe there might be more sitcoms in the broadcast primetime schedules next season.
NBC’s actions to date, including renewing all its Thursday sitcoms while piloting quite a few new ones, indicate to me they’re likely to put 1-2 hours of sitcoms on a different night, perhaps Monday, Wednesday, or Sunday (post-football). Except for NBC, I think the rest of the broadcast networks are in replacement mode at best.
Fox may even have fewer live action sitcoms on the schedule next fall than they had last fall (two, Brothers, ‘Til Death) unless they put some in SYTYCD’s open 3 hours in the fall (assuming another reality show doesn’t take the time).
ABC is certainly looking for an 8pm Wednesday replacement for Hank (and perhaps Scrubs & Better Off Ted) but its hard to imagine them expanding the sitcom hours in their schedule from this season.
CBS seems unlikely to expand its sitcom hours either and is likely just in replacement mode for their 1-3 sitcoms likely to be canceled this season. Still a bear market for sitcoms at the CW.
I forgot to mention the CW entirely, which will certainly have no sitcoms again next season, down from the one hour of sitcoms they had in 2008-9, and two hours they had in 2007-8.
What do you think?