Saturday, October 30, 2010

The October Network, Primetime, Half-Hour, Live-Action Sitcom Rankings

Here are the October sitcom rankings. This goes through all episodes that have aired to date. Ratings and viewership numbers are considered, but it is mostly opinion based. Parks and Recreation continues to be based solely on the first two seasons.

RankPrev.ShowNetwork% of Next Seas.
1530 RockNBC95
21Modern FamilyABC100
38Better with YouABC85
42The Big Bang TheoryCBS100
54Two and a Half MenCBS100
67How I Met Your Mot...CBS90
86The OfficeNBC95
910Cougar TownABC70
109Parks and RecreationNBC75
1111Running WildeFox33
1316Raising HopeFox33
1412The MiddleABC20
1514Rules of EngagementCBS15
1615Mike and MollyCBS40
1717$#*! My Dad SaysCBS15

Some quick thoughts:

-30 Rock has been as good this season as it has ever been during the entire, 3 time Emmy winning series. While many critics disliked the live episode because it did not fit well with the typical series dynamic, I enjoyed seeing them doing something different. 30 Rock almost certainly won't stay in the top spot, with moderate viewing numbers being spiked by the live episode, the numbers will catch up with it. I am, however, much more optimistic than I was before.

-The other reason 30 Rock moved to number one is because Modern Family has been utterly disappointing. It hasn't been bad. But it hasn't been funny. And unlike a show like How I Met Your Mother or The Office which has you so invested in the characters that it can afford to not be funny once in a while, Modern Family built itself on the laughs. I don't care about Phil and Claire like I care about Marshall and Lily or Jim and Pam or even Leonard and Penny on Big Bang Theory. And so, when the show isn't all that funny, it isn't all that good.

-Better with You has been the most consistent and most impressive of the new shows. Frankly it hasn't been close. I actually think if you only looked at this season with none of the sitcoms having any prior history, Better with You has been the best of any sitcom. Of the other newbies- Running Wilde has been inconsistent, funny when good, but nobody is watching, and I would not be surprised if November is its final month. Outsourced and Raising Hope have both grown on me this month. Any controversy over Outsourced is long gone, and it seems to be developing into the funny series I thought it could be. Raising Hope has taken advantage of its Gleed-in (see what I did there?), has gotten continuously more funny, has stopped overusing Clorice Leachman, and has gotten picked up for a full season. Unfortunately so has Mike and Molly, which has gotten tremendous numbers, thanks to the 2.5 Men lead-in, but has made the biggest noise as a source of controversy this week thanks to a derogatory Marie Claire article. There is not much to say about $#*! My Dad Says, it is not very good, it is losing viewers by the week, and CBS still gave it a full season. I still don't think there will be a season two.

-Community is almost certainly on its last leg, unless it gets a significant uptake in viewership or NBC gives it the Arrested Development treatment. But if it is dying, it is going out with a blaze of glory. The back-to-back-to-back Apollo 13/Abed as God/Zombie Halloween episodes were over-the-top, but also highlighted things that this series can do that no other sitcom on tv can do (aside from the animated ones).

-Parks and Recreation will almost certainly shoot back up this list as soon as it starts airing again. NBC is showing The Apprentice instead of it. Seriously.

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