Ratings vs. Reviews: Where Do Today's Comedies Stack Up?

While it's true that Nielsen ratings are an inaccurate and outdated measure of today's television audiences, they still serve as a show's ultimate ticket to survival when — as we saw in the recent sitcom cancellation bloodbath – network brass decide which programs to axe off their lineup. Some of comedy's biggest fan favorites weren't exactly ratings blockbusters while on the air — see Arrested Development, Happy Endings, and Community – but went on to carve out niche audiences, and as television moves more and more into the internet age, online reviews, Twitter, and fan feedback can gauge a show's watchability faster than asking "Sure, but does it average a steady 5.0 season average Nielsen rating?"

With that in mind, we thought it'd [...]

Comedy Gets Visually Mapped Out, Gives Me a Headache

The comedy world is an incestuous place, with many of the same people working together over and over again on different projects. It often seems like it's a huge Venn diagram of difference scenes, all overlapping each other slightly. If you'd like visual proof of that in a way that's a bit overwhelming and hard to read, Vulture's meticulous Comedy Zeitgeist Map should fit the bill. It's also an example of how hard it is to cram extremely complicated connections into a single image; I'm pretty sure Adam Sandler, one of the most successful comedic filmmakers of the past 30 years, should have more than four connections and not [...]