Whitney Cummings defends multi-camera sitcom: 'It's the best format for stand-up comedians'

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Barring the success of few sitcoms on CBS, the multi-camera format -- be it laugh track or live studio audience -- has been something of a kiss of death for the 21st century TV comedy.

Naturally, when the cast and producers of Whitney Cummings' eponymous NBC sitcom "Whitney" took the stage at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, the new series' format dominated discussion.

"It's the best format for stand-up comedians," says Cummings, referring to her and co-star Chris D'Elia's career on stage. "It made the most sense for us... I think our relationship with the audience is something you can tell we're comfortable with."

Cummings namechecked some of her favorite series, including "The Cosby Show," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Roseanne" -- all of which boasted stars that got their starts in stand-up.

"It's an exciting tradtion to be part of, it's still a viable form," says executive producer and showrunner Betsy Thomas. "Stuff ebbs and flows. Genres get taken down because of speciifc shows. I think it's a fantastic format that will hopefully be around for a long time."

Cummings actually has a lot riding on the mult-cam this season. She's the co-creator and producer of CBS' "Two Broke Girls," starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs. Still, "Whitney" is definitely her day job.

"At home, I'll sort of read the notes about 'Two Broke Girls,'" she says, "[but] I think it's in pretty good hands with [showrunner] Michael Patrick King."
Photo/Video credit: NBC
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