Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Is Red Dwarf the world’s longest running sitcom that’s still in production?

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  • #262958
    Toxteth O-Grady
    Participant

    The world’s longest running sitcom, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is Last of the Summer Wine, which ran for 37 years from 1973 until 2010.
    However, there were no new episodes in the years 1974, 1980, or 1994; suggesting that a series does not need to be in continuous production to qualify for the record.
    In total, Last of the Summer Wine produced 295 episodes across 31 series. Particularly impressive considering they were all written by one man – Roy Clarke.

    The Simpsons has been been airing new episodes every year since 1989, and currently has aired 688 episodes across 32 seasons.
    Presumably, if it keeps making new episodes for the next 6 years, The Simpsons will become the world’s longest running sitcom.

    …except Red Dwarf began the year before The Simpsons premiered.
    Even Birds of a Feather began two months before The Simpsons, and is due to have its 129th episode air this December.

    A new episode of Red Dwarf was of course aired in April this year, and so (as of this year) can be considered “in production” given that no announcement suggesting otherwise has been made.
    Does this mean that (as of 2020 at least) Red Dwarf is the world’s longest running sitcom that’s still in production?

    I’ve tried to verify this online, but the only two shows that seem to get the distinction are Last of the Summer Wine (by number of years) and The Simpsons (by number of episodes).

    Do we think if Red Dwarf makes at least one more episode in the year 2026 it will take the Guinness World Record for longest running sitcom, having then ran for 38 years?
    And is it already the world’s longest running that’s still being made?
    The show is already being dubbed ‘Last of the Summer Wine in Space’, so why not go the whole way and take their world record too?

    #262959
    Dave
    Participant

    Open All Hours/Still Open All Hours springs to mind – is that still going?

    #262961
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Still Open All Hours had its last episode in 2019, so it would qualify, except no, because Still Open All Hours is a sequel series to Open All Hours, not a continuation of the same series. I know that’s a technicality and it is a continuation in spirit, but nevertheless.

    I wonder if continuous production actually is a requirement for this record. Because even though LOTSW had a couple of years in which there were no new episodes, it was never actually cancelled in that time, was it? Unlike Red Dwarf or Birds of a Feather.

    #262962
    Dave
    Participant

    Still Open All Hours had its last episode in 2019, so it would qualify, except no, because Still Open All Hours is a sequel series to Open All Hours, not a continuation of the same series. I know that’s a technicality and it is a continuation in spirit, but nevertheless.

    I guess that’s a fair technicality. Presumably you could get into Yes Minister/Prime Minister being two shows because of the name change, even though it’s effectively the same show. But then you could also get into Red Dwarf: Back To Earth not being Series IX and technically breaking the run that way….

    I think continuous production should probably be a factor. Otherwise you could just make a new episode of, I dunno, the Flintstones and get the record.

    #262964
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Yes, (Prime) Minister is a bit of a grey area given it also has production continuity, but I’m sure BtE wouldn’t be the thing that disqualifies Red Dwarf, because “Back to Earth” is clearly a subtitle for that specific series only, not a new name for the whole show.

    I’m now trying to think of examples of the reverse situation, where a sitcom is continued with the same name and is the same programme in theory, but in practice is more like a sequel show. The only one that springs to mind right away is Scrubs, but there must be others.

    Oh wait, duh, the most obvious example – Blackadder. Every series is a sequel show!

    #262974
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    Porridge did a sequel series with Fletcher’s grandson 3 years ago, under the name Porridge again, written by the original team. If you counted that it would be 43 years!

    #262994

    Surely if you’re changing the title and the characters, you have to count that as a separate series.

    In the same way all the Star Trek’s are regarded as separate series. It’s a long running franchise but not a 50+ year series.

    Whereas Doctor Who is the same title, same titular character, same continuity etc etc.

    So sequels and spin offs surely can’t count, but as with Last of the Summer Wine, which despite long gaps in production here and there, was the same show from when it started to when it ended.

    Much like Red Dwarf and even Birds of a Feather (only 2 years younger than Red Dwarf) which I see if getting a Christmas outing this year, inexplicably without one of the birds, Sharron.

    #262995
    si
    Participant

    inexplicably without one of the birds, Sharron

    Yeah. I don’t even like the programme, but that seems a pretty stupid idea.

    #262997
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    well you know how the saying goes

    a Bird of a Feather;
    one’s stuck in the weather.

    #262999
    Ridley
    Participant

    Birds of a Feather: Flock Off

    Seems a long time to answer the lyrics when Google has a spoiler.

    What’ll I Do / Irving Berlin

    What’ll I do
    when you
    are far away
    and I’m so blue?
    What’ll I do?

    What’ll I do
    when I
    am wondering who
    is kissing you
    what’ll I do?

    What’ll I do
    with just
    a photograph
    to tell my troubles to?

    When I’m alone
    with only dreams of you
    that won’t come true
    what’ll I do?

    Guitar solo

    #263000
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    do you imagine there’s a Birds of a Feather fan site somewhere where they talk about the show going downhill in the late 1990s when status of the boys being in prison gets changed? etc etc.

    while i was working on trying to make a joke about this i discovered the fact that in the 2014 series, all the episodes are named after Rolling Stones songs or albums. there seems to be absolutely no reference to this on the internet, so actually i am guessing either there is no birds of a feather fan community or maybe they are not such enormous nerds as red dwarf fans.

    #263006

    Perhaps this is it, this is the formation of the Birds of a Feather fan community.

    Chigwell&Edmonton.tv – for all the latest news, reviews, and round ups about our favourite Essex girls.

    #263007
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    the postcode for chigwell is IG7, which rhymes with ‘lunar city seven’, by virtue of um, being literally the same word at the end. i’ll just leave that there.

    Roseanne! That lasted 30 years (including a 20 year gap), and then they sacked Roseanne and renamed it The Connors – which just started showing on ABC again last month.

    #263008
    Dave
    Participant

    do you imagine there’s a Birds of a Feather fan site somewhere where they talk about the show going downhill in the late 1990s when status of the boys being in prison gets changed? etc etc.

    while i was working on trying to make a joke about this i discovered the fact that in the 2014 series, all the episodes are named after Rolling Stones songs or albums. there seems to be absolutely no reference to this on the internet, so actually i am guessing either there is no birds of a feather fan community or maybe they are not such enormous nerds as red dwarf fans.

    Didn’t they also do one series where the episode titles are all names of other sitcoms?

    #263009
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    apparently yes! series 7 has episodes named
    *Stand By Your Man
    *Nearest and Dearest
    *Cheers
    *Relative Strangers
    *Porridge
    *Rising Damp
    *Three Up, Two Down
    *Are You Being Served?
    *Never the Twain
    *Three’s Company

    i think i might become a birds of a feather fan now, even though i hate it. that’s ok, right? i mean, red dwarf fans hate a lot of red dwarf; and most doctor who fans can’t even agree which 90% of doctor who is rubbish.

    #263010
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    i mean, i say i hate it, i think maybe just a show with spaceships in it is more likely to appeal to a 13 year old. now i’m verging on middle age and musing a lot about the futility of life and whether people can ever really change maybe i’d really like it!

    #263011
    Dave
    Participant

    Sounds like you need to watch Waiting For God instead.

    The sitcom, not the Red Dwarf episode.

    #263012

    i think i might become a birds of a feather fan now, even though i hate it. that’s ok, right?

    UKTV has all the original run up to stream so you can watch them all easily enough.

    Though I got through to about series 4 and got a little tired of the repetitiveness of it all. Oh woe is me your husband’s are in jail, get over it.

    #263013
    Dave
    Participant

    Oh woe is me your husband’s are in jail, get over it.

    Plus Dorien likes teh sex

    #263014

    Yeah, it’s still really bad. There are plenty of sitcoms about more ‘mature’ situations that aren’t really shit. Waiting for God is definitely a good example.

    #263015
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    oh god no i wasn’t intending to /watch/ it.

    i’ve found there’s a birds of a feather wikia now. it has 121 articles, which is 7 fewer than there were episodes. i feel very sorry for them now. :-(

    #263020
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    I’m watching episode 1.1 now. Fucking hell it’s bad.

    #263022

    episode 1 is pretty terrible, the set up is done really badly. As soon as the blokes are in prison it gets watchable for a while. There’s some really good social commentary explored between the three different women that’s not hitting you over the head, it’s just there as the setting to the jokes.

    But like I said, gets a little repetitive after a while. Especially as some of the series are quite long.

    #263024
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    A very long time since I watched the early episodes, but it at least appeared to be “about something” back then. The social commentary Quinn mentioned.

    Now admittedly, that *something* isn’t strong enough of an idea these days (Tracey’s total ineptitude at looking after herself without her Daryl wouldn’t play too well), but it was at least a ‘situation’.

    I saw one of the ITV revival’s episodes, and the blokes were long out of nick, and it was just the containing misadventures of two single women doing…things.

    #263025

    I’ve not seen any of the revival but I can’t imagine what it would be about.

    Surely, somehow, somewhere along the way, Tracy *must* have made some money to keep affording the upkeep of that house, and would also therefore be sitting on a goldmine. It’d be worth millions today. And yet she was always struggling for cash back when Daryl went inside.

    I reckon they could still get away with Tracy being a bit useless, that can be a character trait, just don’t tie it so closely to it being down to the fact her husband isn’t around. She’s just always had a comfortable life so never had to work or learn how to do much other than house keep, where as Sharon was always a bit more competent and had lived a bit more of a varied life because she’d not been well off.

    But there’s got to be something quite sad about Dorian, a woman in her 70s now? (She was late 30s when the show started I think) still going around knocking off all the younger men. Although I see they’ve got Les Dennis in that role for the Christmas episode.

    #263026
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    So hang on in the revival they’re still in that big house rather than, say, having the rich one have to move in with the poor one in a council flat? (I refuse to learn which is called Sharon and which is called Tracey)

    #263032
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I think they’ve moved as it’s definitely not the same set design. One of the husbands may be dead too…

    I just looked this up. Tracey and Darryl divorced, and Darryl is now dead. Bit confused about why the theme tune hasn’t been swapped out now.

    #263042
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    Did Dorian move with them? Honestly, the continuity on this show. You’ll be telling there Tracy (or Sharon) gets her appendix out twice, next.

    #263043
    Dave
    Participant

    I think Birds of a Feather should have started with them on a spaceship in futuristic costumes, and then you pull out and reveal that somehow this is all in their living room with a sofa and French windows.

    #263049

    I think they’ve moved as it’s definitely not the same set design

    Maybe they just renovated.

    #263052
    evilmorwen
    Participant

    Maybe they had been living in the servant’s quarters and then later explored and discovered the rest of the house, but for some reason also all the corridors had changed as well and they never went back to the original drive room even though clearly where that was where the captain was based.

    #263054

    I think it’s more likely that they had a run in with their future selves, were killed by them, resulting in a paradox which caused the house to expand by 212%

    #263055
    Dave
    Participant

    Maybe they had been living in the servant’s quarters and then later explored and discovered the rest of the house, but for some reason also all the corridors had changed as well and they never went back to the original drive room even though clearly where that was where the captain was based.

    And suddenly Dorien became Dorian after a head-swap operation.

    #263075
    Hamish
    Participant

    Dorien? Who gave you permission to turn into an Alsatian?

    #263090
    Lister2RedDwarf
    Participant

    I hate to tell you all this… but in Birds of a Feather Robert Llewellyn plays a Tory Candidate in Series 2 Episode 8…

    #263091
    Dave
    Participant

    Well there’s the next G&TV lined up.

    #263092
    tombow
    Participant

    I used to really like Birds as a kid. The women in it reminded me of my aunties. But I’m not sure I ever found it really good or funny. Just comforting. I think one place you can sometimes find discussion of relatively forgotten sitcoms is in the comments of their youtube uploads. Though I’ve not looked for BOAF there yet.

    #263121
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    >I used to really like Birds as a kid.
    I still do, but I used to, too.

    #263123

    I used to really like Birds as a kid. The women in it reminded me of my aunties.

    I’ve watched some of it recently, hence why we’re even talking about it here now, because I used to enjoy it as a kid. But I’ve noticed more and more of my mum and her sisters in the characters. Granted none of my aunts is a sex crazed adulterer as far as I know, but they are Essex born and bred and we all lived (where I grew up) not far from Chigwell, just the other side of Romford.

    Also, I was born in 87, 2 years prior to Birds launch, so it’s set right when I was growing up, with 3 women from Essex as the main characters, which was sort of my childhood. I recognise the fashion, the mannerisms, the types of arguments Tracy, Sharron and Dorien have, all in my mum and her two sisters. Even down to the social / wealth gaps from my mum being a generally hard up single mum, to her older sisters who had slight more comfortable lives.

    #263125
    Dave
    Participant

    OK, Dorien was a sex-crazed adulterer, but at least we could have gone dancin’.

    #263138
    By Jove its holmes
    Participant

    Ah yes the Essex girls of BOAF.

    Drop the Dead Donkey: “Why does an Essex girl have C and A on her knickers? So she doesn’t get them back to front”.

    #263145

    Well done on the Essex girl joke their sir, we almost went a full 5 minutes.

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