End of ‘Big Bang’ stirs debate over future of TV comedies

  • FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2019, file photo, Chuck Lorre accepts the creative achievement award at the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. The end of “The Big Bang Theory” means the beginning of a familiar debate: is the traditional sitcom, complete with laugh track, a thing of the past? The hit CBS comedy concludes its 12-year run on Thursday, May 16. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

  • Johnny Galecki, from left, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, cast members of the TV series “The Big Bang Theory,” pose at a hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES — In 2006, TV critics swooned over “30 Rock,” part of a new breed of comedy that dared to fly without a laugh track and whose ranks included “Arrested Development,” ”The Office” and “Everybody Hates Chris.”

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