The networks announced their fall line-ups this week, with the emphasis seemingly on comedy, comedy and more comedy. The Los Angeles Times suggest that the networks haven't gone for laughs as hard as this for some fifteen years.
Desperately seeking the next 'Modern Family' or 'Big Bang Theory', NBC are going for ten comedies this fall, with four of them new. Bill Carroll, vice president of the Katz Media Group said, "Everyone seems to believe that sitcoms are the bedrock of big-time success for the networks". Of course the two aforementioned sitcoms have reaped huge rewards for their respective networks, but those shows are still going strong and it's hard to see either flagging in popularity or making way for a new success story. Back in the 1990's when 'Friends' became a phenomenon, Nbc spent "tens of millions of dollars" trying to replicate the show, with 18 comedies on its schedule for 1997. Similarly, ABC and CBS had 12 apiece. Fox have perhaps been the most successful in their search for a new hit comedy, with the Zooey Deschanel starring 'New Girl'. Jeffrey MCCall, a professor at DePauw University, said, "Half-hour comedy shows are easier and cheaper to gear up than dramas, so there is less overall investment and risk than [in] developing new dramas".
Elsewhere, the networks are also looking to strengthen their drama line-ups too, with Cbs introducing the highly anticipated 'Elementary' - a Sherlock Homes reboot starring Jonny Lee Miller.