Narrated by David Bushman, Television and Mass Media Curator for The Paley Center
In 1993, NBC’s Dan Holm came up with the idea of branding the network’s heralded Thursday night comedy block “Must See TV”, a stroke of genius. The lineup included two sitcoms set in New York but shot in LA, Seinfeld and Mad About You. The Cosby Show, set in Brooklyn, just missed, having ended in 1992, and Friends wouldn’t arrive until the following year. Seinfeld had premiered as “The Seinfeld Chronicles” four years earlier on a Wednesday night during a run on stand-up comedian-fronted sitcoms, and fared so poorly in the ratings that NBC almost pulled the plug and Fox refused to pick it up, but NBC found enough money for four more episodes by canceling plans for a Bob Hope special. Thanks for the memories, indeed. The rest, as they say, is history. Seinfeld aired on four Wednesdays in 1991 before flipping nights with Night Court, yet another New York-set, LA-shot sitcom.