Film Theory section


Hollywood's "Rules" of the Sitcom

    The rules run more or less as follows:

  • Shows have an A story and a subsidiary, or B, story (and sometimes a C story as well), which are "broken" across a "teaser" and two acts.

  • Scenes should have three laughs to a page

  • No character can leave a room without saying something funny

  • A scene should end with a 'zinger' that should send everyone into the commercials laughing. (For example, two characters ask the boss for a raise, the boss yells and storms out, and one character says brightly, "Well, that went well.") This is the "button" or "blow" to the scene.