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Theme Festival - Sitcoms


Theme Festival - Sitcoms

Company overview

Sitcoms have been one of the most effective replacement genres for channels looking to refresh schedules. We take a look at what’s on offer from the world’s leading suppliers.

Programming Profile

Getting the world laughing


How can sitcoms both appeal to a global audience and retain the local focus that made them stand out in the first place? And could the genre provide an opportunity for traditional broadcasters to set themselves apart from streamers? Oli Hammett reports.


For almost any show to be commissioned nowadays, one of the first boxes that has to checked off is its ability to travel. This has partly contributed to, for example, an upturn in crime series and female-led shows in which characters face universal issues. Global streaming platforms, meanwhile, all want content that can appeal to audiences in multiple territories.


This new requirement is also affecting the comedy genre. In recent years, viewers have flocked to streaming platforms offering content from all over the world to which anyone can relate. C21 reported last month how audiences are demanding more from comedy, which has led to the genre becoming more dramatic. Shows like I May Destroy You and After Life are making audiences laugh but also making them think about deeper issues like grief and sexual assault.


Nicola Söderlund, managing partner of Swedish distributor Eccho Rights, says comedy is less likely to appeal internationally than other genres: “Selling a sitcom is difficult, because they don’t travel easily. What people laugh at depends a lot on local nuances, many of which are lost in translation.”