End of an Era for the Sitcom

The observer is running a very interesting article on some of the effects of the changing TV climate. Content-wise, just based on numbers, it appears that sitcoms are all but extinct:

“At one point in the 1990s, NBC had 16 half-hour sitcoms on the air. This fall, it has four. And two of those four–The Office and 30 Rock–though critically beloved (both are up for Best Comedy Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 21), are struggling to be embraced by mainstream audiences”.

I remember watching Different Strokes, Facts of Life and so many other sitcoms on TV, and I did enjoy them. But in retrospect, the family sitcoms usually made me feel stupid like I was being tricked into learning the fundamentals of morality.

Recently, on a cross-atlantic flight, I had a shocking experience watching contemporary Disney channel shows like Hanna Montana and wondered why kids like it so much. I accept that they like it, but with so many other options for their time, is it PR alone that makes these shows so popular? Or are they really that great? In the past there was no choice. Time will tell. 

Below was an all time favorite, “One Day at a Time”. One of my first major crushes was on Valeri Bertinelli: