Seinfeld was dubbed “the show about nothing”. Nevertheless, its episodes concerning the frustrations of everyday life and relationships caught the imagination. Jerry Seinfeld co-created the show with Larry David, basing the show on his own persona and stand up routine. In fact, a scene showing Seinfeld as his fictional altar ego doing stand up was shown in each episode. The series ran from 1989 to 1998 and frequently tops polls on favorite comic TV shows. The series made Jerry Seinfeld a wealthy man and his co-stars became household names. Jason Alexander played George, Jerry’s best friend from High School. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss played ex-girlfriend Elaine and Michael Richards played eccentric neighbor Kramer. Larry David went on to work on another sitcom, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Not many sequels go on to outshine the original but this could be said to be the case for Frasier, a spin off from the long running Cheers. Frasier premiered in 1993 and ran for 11 seasons, winning 37 Emmy Awards along the way. Psychiatrist Frasier Crane has returned to his hometown of Seattle and gradually re-establishes a relation ship with brother Niles and his ex-cop father, Martin. We also see his life as a radio psychiatrist and his attempts at a lasting romance. The social satire and pithy one-liners were brilliantly written. Audiences also tuned in to see whether Niles and Martin’s physical therapist, Daphne would get together. The cast of Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, and John Mahoney delivered the lines beautifully on this classic comedy television show. Not forgetting Moose, who played Eddie, Martin’s beloved dog.
Friends made household names of its six stars in the ensemble cast and the show won seven Emmy Awards. It ran from 1994 until 2004 and there was a record audience for the final episode. There was chemistry between the characters and the audience identified with their love and career problems, watching them mature over the years. The on / off romance of Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross (David Schwimmer) kept everyone guessing. Chandler (Matthew Perry), Monica (Courtney Cox), Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) all had their own journeys. Matt Leblanc went on to star in his spin off series, Joey in which he reprised his character, and re-located to Hollywood to make it big.
Will and Grace ran for eight seasons from 1998 and was groundbreaking in its portrayal of gay main characters. It won 16 Emmy Awards and made stars of the four main roles. Eric McCormack played lawyer Will Truman and his best buddy, interior decorator, Grace Adler was played by Debra Messing. Theirs was a complicated relationship but one which weathered the storms. Friends Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) and Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) add to the fun and general mayhem. There were some high profile players for recurring roles in this comedy TV show, including a bravura performance from Debbie Reynolds as Grace’s eccentric mother. Sydney Pollack and Blythe Danner played Will’s parents and Harry Connick Jr was Grace’s husband.