Most entertainment TV shows can be broken into two categories. One is shows that are filmed live. The other are those when are done in studios or on location to be shown later. One of the beauties of live TV is that characters may go “off-script”. This happened regularly on one of the greatest live TV comedies of all time–“Your Show of Shows”, which ran from 1950 until 1954. This period was the golden age of live comedy, highlighted by classics which include “The Honeymooners” which starred one of the all-time great live comedians–Jackie Gleason–and was on the air in 1955 and 1956..
In the decades since, the live TV sitcom has grown in every possible direction. There are now animated sitcoms, single-camera sitcoms, and mockumentary-style sitcoms, to name just a few modern examples. Yet no matter how wide-reaching the genre becomes, it still relies on the same time-tested recipe of putting engaging characters in funny situations.
Even when we put animated fare aside, the live-action sitcom remains indisputably wide-reaching in scope. Shows like “Arrested Development” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” take the original formula well past its terrain and we’re not just talking about the single-camera set-up or absence of a laugh track.
Over in England, the original version of “The Office” or current programs like “This Country” perform a similar feat. Mix that in with more traditional fare such as “I Love Lucy” and “The Big Bang Theory” and you end up with a truly robust TV landscape, whereby viewers are spoiled for choice.
To determine the best live-action sitcom, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on user rating and popularity from the Internet Movie Database. Television shows tagged with the keyword “sitcom” on IMDb were ranked based on an index consisting of average IMDb user rating and IMDb popularity score. Only sitcoms with at least 2,500 IMDb user votes were considered. Data was collected October 2021.
The best live-action sitcom of all time is The Office. Here are the details:
> Series run: 2005-2013
> IMDb user rating: 8.9/10
> No. of IMDb votes: 474,228
> Cast: Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson
Adapted from the British sitcom of the same name, NBC’s ever-popular mockumentary chronicles daily life at the Dunder Mifflin Paper company. As unforgettable each character may be, it’s the chemistry between them that makes this ensemble comedy shine.
Click here to read The 50 Best Live Action Sitcoms of All Time
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