Sitcoms rose to prominence in the 1970s and have been a popular genre among viewers ever since. With a stunning cast, strong storyline and captivating performances, they have it a big impact on audiences who want to see the shows again. While many popular shows seen today bring new ideas to today’s problems, people still return to the shows from the ’90s and early 2000s that garnered the most awards. These shows, syndication rights and OTT popularity continue to make millions from their merchandise sales today.
From long-running animated shows that continue to entertain audiences, to classic comedies that have attained legendary status and garnered millions of cast members, the following list highlights some of the most popular sitcoms that will continue to dominate viewership for years to come.
10 The Sopranos (1999-2007)
HBO is one of the few networks that has produced shows that are loved by most viewers. The sopranos had a cult following that helped attract millions of viewers to the show. In 2005, the television company sold the show’s rights to A&E Network for $2.5 million, for a total of $200 million, the highest value for a show that year.
9 Modern Family (2009-2020)
ABC’s hit family comedy sitcom modern family brought 7.4 million viewers in America and entertained audiences until the airing of its final season. As mentioned by Go to Bank Interestin 2010, USA Network acquired the syndication rights to modern family and valued the show at $1.5 million per episode. The total of 250 episodes brought the show’s value to $375 million.
8th Everyone Loves Raymond (1996-2006)
A light-hearted comedy sitcom, Everyone loves Raymond was one of the most popular shows on CBS. The show’s reruns are still watched by millions. Ray Romano, the show’s lead actor, earns $18 million in royalties each year. The show has earned a whopping $400 million in syndication fees over the years.
7 The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)
The interesting lives of four socially awkward friends were loved by viewers worldwide, which CBS did The big Bang Theory one of the longest-lived sitcoms of modern times. Recently, HBO Max acquired the show’s streaming and syndication rights in a deal reportedly worth $600 million to expand their ownership, and the deal runs through 2028, as reported by The edge.
6 Cheers (1982-1993)
A bar where everyone knew their name, the cast and the network cheers a substantial profit from broadcasting the show on their networks and online platforms. Ted Danson, the lead actor, was the highest paid actor on television at the time, earning $450,000 per episode which is equivalent to $25 million. In 1991, NBC retained its streaming rights for $2.6 million per episode, for a total of $715 million.
5 The Simpsons (since 1989)
The longest-running animated sitcom on television, The simpsons, has continued its reign as a well-loved show to this day. FX Network has earned $750 million in profits to date and continues to make millions. The show has been renewed for seasons 33 and 34, ensuring the show will air through 2023.
4 Family Guy (since 1999)
Seth McFarlane, the genius behind the creation of family Guyhas built a multi-million dollar empire with his hit animated sitcom. family Guy earns $400 million from syndication, $400 million from DVD sales, and $200 million from merchandise sales. In 2020, McFarlane signed a $200 million deal to transfer his streaming rights to NBC Universal, bringing his value to $1.2 billion.
3 Friends (1994-2004)
friends is still one of the most watched shows and stars Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. The show has been highly profitable since it aired, grossing a whopping $1.4 billion, with each cast member earning $136 million each, as noted by forbes.
2 Frasier (1993-2004)
While sitcoms and spin-offs have had a bumpy ride on television, Frasier remains one of the most profitable TV spin-offs. An offshoot of cheers is more successful than its original show and has grossed over $1.5 billion in syndication revenue, and Netflix paid $200 million to stream the show for two years, along with other ’90s comedies.
1 Seinfeld (1989-1998)
His field is a financial empire in its own right, with co-creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David earning large chunks of its profits. Accordingly cheat sheet, by 2013 the show had grossed $3.1 billion. Two years later, Hulu bought the show for $1 million per episode, adding $180 million in revenue. Later, in 2021, Netflix paid more than $500 million to air the show’s reruns on its OTT platform.
Other notable shows making their networks millions of dollars in syndication and sales include, among others Two and a half men, Married with childrenand Grey’s anatomy. While these sitcoms have not aired for a long time, they continue to charm audiences with their humor and storylines, and bring a new generation of fans to appreciate the show.
READ MORE: From Mr. Bean to Johnny English, these are Rowan Atkinson’s 10 highest-grossing films
Garage Verstappen: The 9 most expensive cars in Max Verstappen’s mind-blowing car collection