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Update: July 17, 2007

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Fall Upfronts Forget to Bring The Funny

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A trend I noted in my upfront coverage (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX) that the networks seem to have ordered very few sitcoms and reality shows this year in comparison to dramas (with the exception of course being FOX, who ordered almost an equal number of everything including more reality crap.) The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed my own observations, and I think this is a huge mistake. Sitcoms can last far longer than serial dramas, and for the first few years at least they cost a heck of a lot less too. If it's a hit, the contract renegotiations for the actors invariably suck the profit dry for everybody, though.

All networks except Fox ordered comedy slates dominated by single-camera projects, each on average said to cost more than $3 million. Only ABC stuck with the form in its series pickups -- ordering three comedies, all single-camera. Meanwhile, NBC and CBS ended up ordering one multicamera comedy series each, and Fox opted for two multicamera and one single-camera series.

"Comedy is clearly in a challenged stage," Warner Bros. TV president Peter Roth said. "Half-hours seem to be more irrelevant and predictable than ever before."

I've never been a really huge sitcom fan, but they are a lot easier on the nerves knowing you can afford to miss a bunch of them and not be totally Lost in the woods. Or jungle.

I'm just looking forward to not having to keep track of a dozen shows for a while, how about you?


  • IGN has a first look at Bryan Fuller (Heroes) new series, Pushing Daises.
  • The Transformers trailer airing in front of Shrek 3 isn't the same trailer everyone thought it was going to be.
  • Samuel Jackson is in talks to star in Frank Miller's adaptation of The Spirit -- as the bad guy.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (the drama based on the film) was shot but not picked up by ABC (thank god.) The original producers are still trying to shop it around, though.
  • More Transformers trailers. Is this old?
  • Josh Friedman's The Sarah Connor Chronicles is being held back until next spring.
  • The Atlanta Braves were just sold to Liberty Media.
  • With an additional two seasons ordered for Fox drama 24, the producers are looking to reimagine the series in drastic ways.
  • Three department heads for Fox Television Studios just got s***canned.
  • Check out new video from Evan Almighty.
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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.