Without a doubt, there are a lot of things that go into creating a successful sitcom. In fact, many people have said that it’s more difficult to create a sitcom than it would be to create a drama. This is because comedy is often more difficult to pull off than drama. What makes one person laugh, may not be entertaining at all to the next person in line. Unless an overwhelming majority of people are entertained, the show scarcely stands a chance to have any type of a future. The multitude of sitcoms that have tried and failed only serves as proof that most shows barely make it past being an idea inside someone's head.
The first thing that has to exist for a sitcom to succeed is a good story. A background of the story must be interesting enough to hold people's attention and it has to be a story that allows people to identify with the characters. Many times, people want to be able to see themselves or someone that’s close to them in a situation that brings comedy into the picture. In fact, some of the most successful shows like “How I Met Your Mother” are based on someone's true experiences. Better yet, they give viewers the opportunity to identify with those characters and they do it in a way that is funny instead of frustrating, thereby allowing viewers to find humor in their own lives.
Of course, the best story in the world’s practically useless, unless the actors are top-notch. For one reason or another, viewers are simply able to identify with certain actors better than others. Some people have a role that they play for years that just seems to fit them and they essentially become that character as far as most of the viewers are concerned. Think of the characters on the popular sitcom “Roseanne.” These people played the same characters for so long and they did it so convincingly that many viewers began to see these individuals as the characters they played as opposed to understanding that they were watching actors. This is when the real magic starts to happen because it’s one of the key components that allow sitcoms to be successful, often for a number of years.
One of the things that’s easy to forget is that the person that’s behind the scenes putting it all together can make all the difference between a sitcom that works and one that fails miserably. The director's job is to visualize everything and make it come together. This is often a much more difficult job than many people realize and having a solid director on-board can completely change the face of the show. In truth, all of these things have to come together in order to make it all work. Otherwise, there’s every likelihood that the show will fail.