The End of an Era...

Jonny P

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Back in 1984, The Cosby Show hit the airwaves and ushered in 20 years of entertaining comedies for NBC (and the other networks, too).

I recall watching that show and thinking how fresh and fun it was. I recall how my family always watched "Magnum P.I." and "Simon & Simon" on Thursdays, but after Cosby debuted we were hooked on what NBC had to offer.

I recall becoming a big fan of "Family Ties" and "Cheers." I remember the summer that "The Seinfeld Chronicles" debuted for a short run and how much fun I thought it was (a couple years later I got to see Jerry in person before the show had really "hit it big," and it was one of the funniest performances I have seen by a comedian).

I remember when "Friends" debuted in 1994 after the departure of Cosby and how much fun it has been ever since. I am able to watch the show four times a day on various local and cable channels. It is one of those shows that never wears on me.

The whole NBC "Must See" lineup became a tradition. I recall the first season of "ER" and how that season is still one of the best single seasons of a drama to ever air on TV (in my opinion).

Every week my fiance and I looked forward to that evening of programming on the Peacock.

One by one, all of the great shows that have appeared on Thursday night have left. Only a couple remain (Will & Grace and ER) and both have seen better days.

While I enjoyed "The Apprentice" (and even tried out for it when it came to Omaha a while back), reality shows always leave me feeling "unfulfilled" when a season ends. They don't have a lot of "replay" value and are like dust in the wind.

I remember when "Seinfeld" went off the air in 1998. I thought at the time that there would have been a new "Must See" comedy to fill its shoes in the intervening 6 years. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened.

I hope "Joey" is good. I hope it is more like "Frasier" as a spin-off than "Three's a Crowd."

As much as I like crime dramas, I can only take so many "CSI and Law and Order" clones.

NBC recent hired the gentleman who was responsible for "Nip/Tuck," "The Shield," and "Lucky" at FX. Let's hope that he can infuse the sort of creative spark that Les Moonves had at NBC in the early 90s (before he left to take over at CBS).

Let's hope that prime time TV can create characters that we really care about again.

Ironically, the characters that fascinate viewers most these days are those on reality shows. As these unscripted dramas play out, viewers become more and more intrigued.

I want to see characters like Cosmo Kramer fascinating viewers again. One wonders if we have lost the creative spark in Hollywood and now must have shows that offer us a series of "stupid human tricks" in order to be entertained.
 

LizH

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"Frasier" evolved into a completely different show from "Cheers". Its humor ranged from highbrow wit to pure slapstick.
 

Jason Seaver

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Well, so did Cheers, at least when it started. Even if Diane was the only really "smart" character at first, the comedy was fairly highbrow.
 

MikeFR

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Kramer was a great character, but I dont think Ive ever heard anyone refer to him as fascinating
 

Jason Seaver

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Hell, I wouldn't go so far as amusing.
 

Ray_Gootz

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I'll admit it as soon as Fraiser and Freinds go off the air there goes the last mainstream sitcoms I watch on TV. And I haven't watched Freinds in 5 years and frasier for 2. In fact save for The Simpsons comedy is almost dead on Netowork TV. Nothing really seems to be intresting. It's a shame watching shows like Soap, In Living Color, Three's Company and MST3K you see such daring and funny shows and there's nothing like that right now. Hell I'd settle for a middle of the road sitcom like Night Court or Newsradio over anything on now. I fear sitcoms maybe going the way of the variety show. It's so sad having all of this reality TV crap that has zero replay value. Could we watch an episode of Temptation Island or Extreme Makeover a 100 times over the course of 20 years like we have with Three's Company or even Who's the boss? No.

The one show that could possibly save everything is Family Guy. If they put the show back on Fox I think it could lead to a ratings bonanza that could mean more comides. Hopewefully some kick-ass ones.
 

Casey Trowbridg

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I doubt Family Guy will be big enough to accomplish that goal if its put back on Fox. In fact, I don't think its ratings will be much better if any better than the Simpsons.
People were lamenting the death of the sitcom before the Cosby show came along and sparked a revival of sorts. All it will take is a good idea, and the right cast to pull it off, and things will turn around for that type of program. I expect Joey to do reasonably well year one, having 2 things working in its favor and possibly 3. It has a known timeslot which is where Friends is now, you've got a known character that people already know about...and with there being fewer and fewer good sitcoms on TV, fans of that type of show will be more inclined to at least give Joey a shot.
 

Albert_M

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These statments are made whenever a popular show ends. Howeve, yes it is true there is much less in existing shows to watch. But I believe the future is there as long as there is good writing and most shows are not that good. Most sitcoms are just not funny. I never really understood how Will and Grace was considered funny. It's the same jok over and over. I wish though, that Friends had ended, oh 2 years ago and went out more gracefullly. This season was tired and now they are wrapping things up in such a contrived unfunny manner.
 

LanieParker

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I stopped watching friends when they started the whole Monica/Chandler thing. I lost interest in the main characters (Ross/Rachel/Chandler/Monica)because the story lines just never seemed to get any better. Joey and Pheobe were my favrote characters and they never seem to really do anything good with those two. I felt like they didn't really give them a chance to shine on that show.

There hasn't been a show since Seinfeld and Roseanne that has kept my interest all the way through. I watched those two shows from beginning to end. *this of course doesn't include shows pre-seinfeld/roseanne*

Tv now is just an abomination. Reality tv has taken over every station and I am anxiously awaiting the day it goes away and good programming sees the light of day again.

I will be watching tonights season ending of Friends because although I haven't watched the show in many years, I am curious to see what paths the characters take.
 

Alex-C

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Yea…the whole Cosby/Family Ties/Cheers/Night Court/L.A. Law => Seinfeld/Friends/Cheers/Frasier/ER and all the incantations in between is now officially over.

Everyone of course remembers when Thursday night was “watch the shows” night, extending back into the 80s. I, for one, remember many people saying it and doing it. Hell…we would all get together to watch them all, especially during Seinfeld’s hey day which wasn’t that long ago…was it ?

Thursday night belonged to NBC for such a long time.
 

LizH

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I can see the first season now:

* Joey falls in love with cute neighbor played by Ashley Scott.

* Joey's nephew falls in love with aforementioned cute neighbor played by Ashley Scott.

* Joey and his nephew compete for affections of cute neighbor played by Ashley Scott (Oooh, love triangle!
)

* Joey's sister falls in love with cute actor/doctor/furniture deliveryman, etc.

* Trip to Universal Studios/Hollywood (What's a little cross-promotion among friends? ABC goes to Disneyland all the time. On a side note: Don't be surprised to find "Will and Grace" or "The Tracy Morgan Show" going there as well once the merger is completed.)

(Of course, this is to say nothing of all the domestic dramas and the wacky goings-on on the set of Joey's new show-within-a-show.)



Yawn ...




If "Joey" is to succeed, it's gonna have to be more than warmed-over "Friends"; that's gonna get old REAL quick.

I hope I'm wrong ... though I frankly doubt it.
 

MarkHastings

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What an incredible run! Compare that to the crap that's on now and it's embarrassing to think about what passes as a tv show.
 

Steve_Tk

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What U2 song was that playing in the first hour of the friends last episode?
 

ZacharyTait

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MatthewA

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I am afraid I must disagree. The era of Must See TV ended for me with the end of Cheers. The September 1984-December 1986 lineup is still the best:

8:00—The Cosby Show
8:30—Family Ties
9:00—Cheers
9:30—Night Court
10:00—Hill Street Blues

I have never liked Seinfeld and I hated (with a passion) Friends, and had no interest in the multitude of ripoffs that have surfaced since. I prefer the traditional sitcom as long as it's executed well (there have been very few in the 90s, and none of them were on NBC), and any attempt to break that mold must be incredibly funny to boot (see: Get a Life).
 

Justin Bauer

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I never missed Must See when it was

Friends
*insert show here*
Seinfeld
*insert show here*
ER

I loved those line ups.

I stopped watching Friends in '99 and I hardly ever tune to NBC other than watching ER and Conan.

Seinfeld still gets me in syndication.

I cannot think of a new comedy on network television that I love as much as my old shows of Seinfeld, Newsradio, Married...With Children, and the Simpsons in its prime. The only comedy which I tune to the new episodes of are King of the hill.
 

Tim Markley

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All of these complaints about no great sitcoms on network TV but yet a great show like Arrested Development goes unwatched by most people.
 

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