No Laugh Track Required: The Comeback of the Sitcom

The creative comeback of the sitcom

Alinari Archives / Corbis

Fox's choral comedy Glee

Once upon a time, kids, there was a TV show called Seinfeld . It was a "sitcom." This was a term for a popular genre — watched by tens of millions of viewers — in which amusing things were said and done not by politicians trying to dance or amateurs trying to sing but by professional actors pretending to be real people, for 22 minutes at a time. When Seinfeld aired its finale in 1998, about 76 million people tuned in.

Starting Oct. 4, the cast of Seinfeld reunites for five episodes on Curb...

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