Peter Boyle's death reminds me of something else that recently passed away... the sitcom.

"Hi honey, I'm home... " just doesn't cut it for today's audience. Everybody Loves Raymond is probably the last classic. 'Til Death certainly isn't.

But don't mistake the death of the traditional sitcom for the death of comedy on television. Great comedy is alive and kicking.... The only problem is getting an audience to tune in regularly if it's not three cameras and has a laugh track.

Arrested Development had brilliant acting, excellent writing, a good time slot and the Emmy for best comedy. It had everything except an audience. Why?

If Arrested Development had been on HBO, would it be a glorified hit (a la Curb Your Enthusiasm) because ratings didn't matter? You bet it would.

This season's Arrested Development is The Office. It has stellar acting and writing, the Emmy for best comedy, and it's an unconventional show. Unfortunately, the other thing it has in common with the former Fox comedy is its ratings (or lack thereof).

NBC airs four comedies worth watching on Thursdays - My Name Is Earl, The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock. None of them is The Cosby Show, Family Ties or Cheers, but who knows how those classics would fare with today's fickle audience?

Sitcoms may be gone, but comedy is alive and kicking Thursdays on NBC. It's nice to have the laughs back once again.