America: Do you feel like laughing?
The television industry hopes so because a slew of family, buddy and workplace comedy pilots might be coming to a small screen near you later this year. Despite the cloud of anger and anxiety hanging over the nation because of the ailing economy, the broadcast networks believe the genre is poised for a comeback.
Of 71 scripted pilots in contention for slots at the five networks, 33 are half-hour comedies and 19 of those are multi-camera formats -- shows taped before a live audience, and sometimes enhanced by laugh tracks. Today, only CBS airs multi-cam sitcoms.