What was the big 1998 sitcom debut?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I hate it when news stories say “this was the second biggest X of all time” or “there hasn’t been anything this big since 1965” and don’t tell you what the biggest thing was, or what happened in 1965. I bet since the posters here are an abnormally curious lot, I’m not the only one. <g>

Anyhoo, in this case I’ve tried to find the answer on Google, but have narrowed it down to three likely possibilities and gotten stuck. Oh, the question, you ask? What sitcom debuted in 1998 to high ratings? News stories about My Big Fat Greek Life (which I keep wanting to call My So-Called Greek Life, lol) refer to it being the highest rated sitcom debut since 1998.

The main Google hits for “sitcom debut 1998” (leaving aside a few obvious flops that can’t be seriously considered) are:

(1) King of Queens
(2) That 70s Show
(3) Jesse

Wait, you say. I thought you were leaving out flops–why’s Jesse there? Well, it got the plum position after Friends, so it has to be considered, IMO.

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What about Felicity? (Not that I watched any of this tripe, mind you).

I thought Felicity was a drama. That 70s Show is the only one of the three you cite that’s actually in syndication; it’s launched one big movie career (Ashton Kutcher) with two more on deck (Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis). We have a winner.

Off to Cafe Society.

DrMatrix - GQ Moderator

That doesn’t mean its pilot had the highest ratings, though. King of Queens is also a successful show (and the funniest show on TV if you ask me); and again, there’s the post-Friends thing, where a pilot is going to get better ratings than succeeding episodes once the audience knows what the show’s about.

So I’m not yet convinced…

The news stories are referring to “Jesse”. cite

Without looking?
“Will & Grace” premiered in fall 1998. As did “That 70s show” I think the former (as part of NBC thursday) probably had high ratings, the latter had highish ratings for a show on FOX.

SmackFu comes up with the answer. Nice job, thanks! :slight_smile: