Where Have All the Clips Shows Gone?

Full disclosure: TV sitcom clip shows used to be the bane of our existence. No really, as a young TV Addict, nothing had us wishing we could throw the remote through our then very clunky 27″ square television more than the realization that this so-called new episode that we had been waiting an entire week for was in fact little more than a glorified clip show sandwiched between a hastily written scene or two.

That said, as a result of our recent obsession with EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND reruns following a holiday road-trip to South Carolina that had us enthralled by Phil Rosenthal’s fantastic biography, “You’re Lucky You’re Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom,” something occurred to us: While unbearable at the time, clip shows, in hindsight, do serve an interesting purpose. Aside from giving neophyte viewers a nice sampling of the type of hilarity they can expect should they decide to tune in on a more regular basis, the once-dreaded clip show offers up fans already familiar with, say every episode of FRIENDS and/or SEINFELD, a nice trip down memory lane.

Now don’t get us wrong, considering networks have already shrunk season orders from 24 to the now standard 22 episodes, not to mention lopped off countless minutes from each episode to make room for even more commercials, we’re sure as heck aren’t to go as far as to call for the return of the clip show. Except to say that networks and studios might wish to consider including them as a value-add for DVD, rerun and/or online purposes.


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  • Anonymous

    I think if clip shows ever happen to show up again, they should be in addition to the 22-24 episode order a show has. Just something to replace a repeat some week.

    Some serialized shows still do get clip shows when returning from a long break. FlashForward had one last year, so did V. And I think NBC is doing one for The Event.

  • Nick

    I just saw part of a clip show for The Office (which I’d never seen before). I agree…these should not “replace” any of the usual 22-eps., but what’s wrong with an extra “new” episode each season? Helps ya get to syndication level quicker, too.