Death of the Workplace Sitcom

The other day I came across an article that suggested the workplace sitcom is currently experiencing a slow and painful death. I had not realized this but workplace sitcoms have started to disappear from major networks. The article highlighted the workplace sitcom Broklynn Nine-Nine and how the show continues to fail in terms of receiving a significant amount of viewers.

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When I think of popular workplace sitcoms usually the first shows that come to my mind are Parks & Rec and The Office. For me, I enjoyed both of these shows and I thought they were successful. I watched them while they were on cable and again on Netflix. However, I cannot currently think of a sitcom that is on a major network that I am watching. I will admit, I have never seen Brooklyn Nine-Nine and I do not really have a desire to watch it.

However, I’m not so sure if I agree with the article. As new ideas for shows are continually generated for sitcoms, I don’t think we can throw out the idea of a successful workplace sitcom. I agree that there might be a decline in the popularity of them right now or just a decline in the amount of workplace sitcoms. However I just don’t think that is enough justification to classify the workplace sitcom as dying.

I feel like workplace sitcoms have been around just as long as family sitcoms so there is not reason for them to start dying off. Shows like Cheers! and The Mary Tyler Moore Show were very successful in the past and shows like The Office and Parks & Rec were recently successful. Shows come and go all the time so I feel like there will continue to be successful workplace sitcoms on television.

Regardless of the state of workplace sitcoms, I’m interested in seeing what the future holds for these types of sitcoms. I feel like in the future we will see more workplace sitcoms whether it be on a cable network or a streaming service like Netflix. I just don’t think it is fair to count them out yet.

-Katie Thevenow

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4 Responses to Death of the Workplace Sitcom

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I think you make an excellent point Katherine! I too hadn’t realized this but when you mentioned the death of the workplace sitcoms it makes total sense. I’m not sure as to why this is but maybe we are just seeing a new era of sitcoms. To be honest I don’t know what that is exactly but it’s clear that it is not in the workplace. -Courtney Green

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I liked how you acknowledged that they may still thrive, but on other platforms like Netflix. Personally, I don’t even have a television in my dorm room and I watch all my shows online! I think its important to keep that in mind when determining if a show is “popular” or not. -Kelsey Sierra

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I agree, some of the best sitcoms I have watched are workplace themed sitcoms. I also feel as if sitcoms that take place in a work setting and family setting are the two most popular types of sitcoms. With that said, because they are two of the most popular kinds of sitcoms and possibly the longest standing type of sitcoms people may just be too used to them. With different shows constantly being made and produced viewers could be wanting a different twist or genre to these popular shows. But I am not ready to see them go yet.
    -Kendall Fischlein

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I think this is a really interesting point! The workplace sitcom has definitely evolved and I don’t really know if I would argue that it holds the same cultural value as the workplace sitcoms of the past. I love Parks and Rec and I have watched some of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and both shows are funny but are very different from the workplace sitcoms we watched in class. I think it’s also difficult to create original content when there are so many variations of workplace sitcoms that already exist, especially when writers and producers want to add some kind of uniqueness to their show.
    Arianna Gershon

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