Recently I was driving home one evening and a local radio talk show here in Los Angeles was bemoaning the disappearance of the "situation comedy" from the lineups of the major US TV networks. Most adults remember the golden age of the TV sitcom, and classics like Taxi, Cheers, Roseanne, Cosby, Family Ties, Friends, Frasier and Seinfeld. With seminal 90's sitcoms like "That 70's show", "Friends", "Will and Grace" and "Everybody loves Raymond" calling it quits, and with the failure of critic favorite "Arrested Development", the number of sitcoms on the air and the ratings of the few that are left, are at a historic nadir.
Anyone who doesn't see the connection between an increase in internet use and the decrease in television viewership is in serious denial. A recent Jupiter Research report found that people who have an Internet connection spend as much time online as they do watching TV. This trend, when considered along with the rapid adoption of Digital video recorders like Tivo, signals the death knell of the golden age of network television -- and an end to the era when consumers would revolve their weekly schedules around their favorite "must see" shows.
Which brings me to consideration of "The funniest show (not) on TV". It's a situation comedy of sorts, although its not really a series at all. It's on a network which isn't really a network. It has no budget, no production company, no promotion, sponsors, and during its entire one year run, faced cancellation on a monthly basis, based on the direct input of those who had watched its most recent episode. Could this be the future of TV?