The last few years of television have shown us that the ratings darlings were either reality/competition shows, vast plots and casts where a suspension of belief were necessary, or the use of a microscope was employed… every week. Don’t call it a comeback, but times are a-changin’.
According to Variety, ABC has given full-season orders to Modern Family and Cougar Town, both sitcoms – “situation comedies” in case you’ve forgotten – revolving around normal, every-day characters and families dipped in abnormal circumstances. Even The Middle has scored enough viewership to convince the network to re-up and fortify its Wednesday comedy block, which has so far outperformed the same time slot from last year when the now-canceled Pushing Daisies and relocated Private Practice used to reside.
Is this a sign that sitcoms will once again return to prominence and dominate the airwaves? Possibly, however a case can be made for established television stars going back to the well and finding success with a new vehicle. Both Cougar Town and The Middle have comedic veterans as their centerpiece – Courteney Cox Arquette and Patricia Heaton, respectively – while Modern Family provides a good mixture of new talent with familiar faces that has been agreeable with viewers. As with anything television-related, stay tuned.