From ER to 30 Rock, EastEnders to The Simpsons, live TV drama and comedy episodes are here to stay...
In 1997, the Us TV network NBC gave permission for its highest rated show, the global medical drama hit ER, to produce an episode that would be broadcast to audiences completely live.
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It’s hard to explain just how completely out of nowhere that decision was at the time. Live broadcasts began as a cornerstone of television, but once videotape came into use in the late 1950s, it was gradually confined to news bulletins and talent contests. By the 1990s, any comedy or drama that produced a live episode was usually perceived as a show suffering from flagging ratings or creative jaundice, one in dire need of an attention grabbing gimmick.
Let’s be clear – ER was none of those things.