A situation comedy, often shortened to the portmanteausitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, with often humorous dialogue. Such programs originated in radio, but today, sitcoms are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form also includes mockumentaries such as The Office and Parks and Recreation.
The terms "situational comedy" or "sitcom" weren't commonly used until 1950s. Some of the characters, pratfalls, routines and situations as preserved in eyewitness accounts and in the texts of the plays themselves, are remarkably similar to those in earlier modern sitcoms such as I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners. The first television sitcom is said to be Pinwright's Progress, ten episodes being broadcast on the BBC in the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1947. In the United States, director and producer William Asher has been credited with being the "man who invented the sitcom," having directed over two dozen of the leading sitcoms, including I Love Lucy, from the 1950s through the 1970s.
In 2007, Kath & Kim The first episode of series four attracted an Australian audience of 2.521 million nationally, the highest rating ever for a first episode in the history of Australian television, until the series premiere of Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities in 2009 with 2.58m viewers.
The popular show King of Kensington, aired from 1975 to 1980, prior to the start of the fourth season drew 1.5 to 1.8 million viewers weekly.
Corner Gas, which ran for six seasons from 2004 to 2009, became an instant hit, averaging a million viewers per episode. 1.5 million viewers in its first episode on January 22, 2004. And has been the recipient of six Gemini Awards, and has been nominated almost 70 times for various awards.
Between 2007 and 2012, the Little Mosque on the Prairie premiere drew an audience of 2.1 million, but declined in its fourth season drawing 420,000 viewers a week, or twenty percent of its original audience.
El Chavo del Ocho, who ran from 1971 to 1980, was the most watched show in the Mexican television and had a Latin American audience of 350 million viewers per episode at its peak of popularity during the mid-1970s. The show continues to be popular in Hispanic America as well as in Brazil, Spain, United States and other countries, with syndicated episodes averaging 91 million daily viewers in all of the markets where it is distributed in the Americas. Since it ceased production in 1992, the show has earned an estimated US$1.7 billion in syndication fees alone for Televisa.
My Fair Nanny, a Russian comedy television series based on the American television sitcom The Nanny, earned two TEFI awards and it was so popular in Russia that some of the original American writers of the show were commissioned to write new scripts after all original episodes were remade.
The sitcom format was born on January 1926 with the initial broadcast of Sam 'n' Henry on WGN radio in Chicago, Illinois. The 15-minute daily program was revamped in 1928, moved to another station, renamed Amos 'n' Andy, and became one of the most successful sitcoms of the period. It was also one of the earliest examples of radio syndication. Like many radio programs of the time, the two programs continued the American entertainment traditions of vaudeville and the minstrel show.
The Jack Benny Program, a radio-TV comedy series that ran for more than three decades, is generally regarded as a high-water mark in 20th-century American comedy.
The Nanny, aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, earned a Rose d'Or and one Emmy Award, out of a total of twelve nominations. The sitcom was the first new show delivered to CBS for the 1993 season and the highest-tested pilot at the network in years. The series was also hugely successful internationally, especially in Australia.
Lewisohn, Mark (2003) Radio Times' Guide to TV Comedy. 2nd Ed. Revised - BBC Consumer Publishing. ISBN 0-563-48755-0, Provides details of every comedy show ever seen on British television, including imports.
Padva, Gilad (2005) Desired Bodies and Queer Masculinities in Three Popular TV Sitcoms. In Lorek-Jezinska, Edyta and Wieckowska, Katarzyna (Eds.), Corporeal Inscriptions: Representations of the Body in Cultural and Homosexual Literature (pp. 127–138). Torun, Poland: Nicholas Copernicus University Press. ISBN 83-231-1812-4
Asplin, Richard (2004) Gagged - A Thriller With Jokes - Arrow books. ISBN 0-09-941685-9 is a contemporary comic thriller set in London and Los Angeles that covers the financing, production, creation, ratings and marketing of a modern American network half-hour situation comedy