Strangely enough, everybody still loves Raymond

Posted by Rob Walker on March 20, 2007
Posted Under: America

For a variety of reasons, the sitcom seems like a moribund form. Maybe it’s because in a niche-driven world, the lowest-common-denominator element that used to make sitcoms into mass hits just doesn’t play anymore.

Or maybe there just hasn’t been a good enough sitcom lately. I was surprised to read in the Washington Post today that, according to one study that an ad-research kind of firm is pushing:

More people are watching “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” this season than when the shows were at the height of their popularity on their respective broadcast networks.

Not only that, but apparently because of the popularity of sitcom reruns, people are basically watching more half-hour comedies than ever:

In 1993-94, the average U.S. TV household spent just under four hours a week watching comedies. This season, it’s just over 4 1/2 hours, the study asserts.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

Raymond sucks.

Written By cousin lymon on March 21st, 2007 @ 11:28 am

I would be curious to see how many hours of airtime sitcoms took up 10, 15 years ago compared to today. TBS is THE Everybody Love Raymond/Seinfield/Friends station. Those three sitcoms are in constant rotation. I am sure that cable networks have always show reruns in syndication, but it just seems so saturated now. There are full nights of Friends on TBS and I seriously think you could watch Seinfeld 24 hours a day if you planned it right.

Written By kate on March 21st, 2007 @ 11:44 am

Cousin Lymon, you aren’t fooling anybody. You love Raymond. You just don’t love Raymond as much you love Raj, from What’s Happening.

Kate, that’s a good question, particularly if it was possible to figure out a percentage of overall airtime. Probably it would turn out that the percentage would be roughly the same from the three-network world of yore to the hundred-network world of today. But of course I’m just making that up.

Written By murketing on March 21st, 2007 @ 11:49 am
Next Post: