As a Brit can I add a few observations.
During the fifties and sixties US comedies were prime time UK TV. 'I
love Lucy', 'Bewitched' (We still have an entire generation called
Samantha and Darren!) Munsters etc.
But about the time of Monty Python, US imports began to pall. They were
still shown but, like most US TV imports in the UK, failed to find an
audience. The Simpsons has just been axed by the BBC after a six week
All US comedy shows almost without exception now play on minority
channels or late slots. Seinfield went out at 11.30pm recently.
I think most British audiences find the US sit com sentimentality too
much. Five minutes from the end and we have someone telling someone else
how much they love love them. EUGHH!
Three Rocks From the Sun almost doesn't seem to follow this formula and
has had a good run.
If you see the original of Cosby's new show, One foot in the Grave,
you'll understand the difference. To the UK real life is not a box of
chocolates but a dustbin. Whatever you pull out will be pretty awful.
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