Last week we ranked NBC’s Must See TV sitcoms. Today we’re ranking NBC’s Comedy Night Done Right sitcoms. If you wonder what the difference is, well, it’s pretty damn arbitrary, at least on NBC’s part. Basically in the fall of 2006 NBC retired the Must See TV name after it had solidly fallen out of first place in the Thursday night ratings. The network might have still had the critics’ support thanks to shows like The Office and 30 Rock, but it was too disingenuous for even the most shameless marketing exec to call a night “must see” when only a few million people were watching. So Comedy Night Done Right was born, as NBC famously “managed for margins” with high quality shows that attracted more affluent audiences, instead of shooting for overall ratings dominance. Although some of those shows were legitimately of high quality (and a handful are among the greatest sitcoms of all time), there was still a bunch of stuff worth forgetting, as you’ll find out when you realize you barely remember like twelve of the shows on this list. NBC retired the “Comedy Night Done Right” branding in 2013 before dumping the entire concept of a two-hour Thursday night sitcom block in 2014, ending a mostly uninterrupted run of four sitcoms a night that dated back to 1983. The network that brought us Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends and many other all-time favorites only renewed one sitcom after the 2014-2015 season, the low-rated Undateable.
1 of 18
18. Kath & Kim: This remake of an Australian hit wasted a talented cast with ugly, mean-spirited humor. It lasted for 17 episodes in 2008 and 2009.
2 of 18
16. Outsourced: This 2010-2011 adaptation of an obscure indie film about a call center in India resorted to lazy caricatures and stereotypes. It also inexplicably took the far superior Parks and Recreation's time slot at the start of the season, almost guaranteeing that many fans of NBC's comedy block would hate it out of spite.
3 of 18
17. Whitney: Talented, funny people like Zoe Lister-Jones, Chris D'Elia and Maulik Pancholy wound up on this extremely unpopular show, which felt like a time-displaced Friends wannabe from the late 1990s. After a few months on Thursday night in the fall of 2011, it was shipped off to Wednesday, somehow scoring a second-season renewal and ending in 2013.
4 of 18
15. The Paul Reiser Show: The My Two Dads and Mad About You star returned to NBC for about two weeks in 2011 with this misguided attempt at a Curb Your Enthusiasm style cringe-com. (Yes, that's Andy Daly in the background of this shot, and yes, he was one of the only reasons to watch this show.) Reiser's found a role more up his alley these days in Amazon's upcoming Red Oaks, where he plays an uptight rich guy terrorizing the teenage staff of a tony country club in the 1980s.
5 of 18
14. Sean Saves the World: After several years of focusing on laugh track-free, single-camera sitcoms that critics liked and earned loyal (if small, by network standards) followings, NBC's decided to switch gears and try more traditional multi-camera sitcoms. Sean Saves the World was first up in 2013, and barely made it to 2014. The cloying, obnoxious family sitcom was a different kind of awful than the similarly multi-cam Whitney. It wasn't as smug or dirty, but it made just as little sense. Why was this show that should've been on late-period TGIF airing in the same block as Parks and Rec? Thankfully the show didn't last long.
6 of 18
12. Perfect Couples: I wanted to say that this early 2011 mid-season replacement show blinked out of existence so quickly that I could barely remember it, but apparently it lasted for eleven entire episodes before giving way for Paul Reiser. The Paul Reiser Show lasted two weeks and I remember it so much more clearly than this show. Basically NBC thought if they took a show that felt like another late '90s Friends knockoff and shot it like it was Arrested Development people would dig it. They didn't because it wasn't very good. You could say it was ahead of its time, as 2014 was the year of the romantic comedy sitcom, but then all those rom-com sitcoms from last fall were gone by this spring, and there's probably no time this show ever would've worked, anyway.
7 of 18
11. 1600 Penn: You could rearrange every show on the list so far and the order would be entirely valid. (Except Kath & Kim. That'll be in dead last forever.) 1600 Penn suffered from a high concept and the same routine of bad jokes, unrealistic stories and inhuman mugging found in most bad sitcoms, even if the single-camera format tried to make it seem modern. With a few tweaks this show could've existed at any point since the 1960s, and it would've been bad in any era.
8 of 18
13. Welcome to the Family: This anemic sitcom about two asshole dads having to hang out because their kids got married lasted for three weeks in 2013. Who knows how bad it could've gotten?
9 of 18
10. The Michael J. Fox Show: This one hurts. Many said they couldn't watch this semi-autobiographical show because of Fox's struggles with Parkinson's. He was easily the best thing about the show, though, along with Betsy Brandt as his wife and the always lovable Wendell Pierce as his best friend. The sorrow of a beloved superstar grown older and infirm didn't ruin this show: horrible writing and obnoxious performances from the actors playing Fox's children were the real culprits. With more restrained child actors and smarter writing this show could've worked. Instead it dragged on painfully from September 2013 until the end of January 2014.
10 of 18
9. Go On: Go On barely qualifies: it only aired two new episodes on Thursday night in April 2013, and it turns out they were the show's last two episodes. This messy show wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be and had a few especially bad performances, but it actually had a lot of promise, and in a more patient era could've perhaps grown into a genuinely good sitcom. Matthew Perry was tolerable as the show's central asshole, but supporting turns from John Cho, Brett Gelman, Tyler James Williams, Sarah Baker, Seth Morris and others formed a strong core for a successful sitcom.