What was the best network comedy bloc ever?
In the wake of the "Parks and Recreation" finale, a Twitter follower asked me if the period when NBC had "Parks," "Community," "The Office" and "30 Rock" on the same night was the best comedy bloc ever. I replied that at least two other very strong alternatives immediately came to mind: NBC Thursdays for a few seasons in the mid-'80s with "The Cosby Show," "Family Ties," "Cheers" and "Night Court" (a night that also had "Hill Street Blues," and is therefore frontrunner for Best Overall Night of Network Programming Ever), and CBS Saturdays in the 1973-74 season with "All in the Family," "M*A*S*H," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Bob Newhart Show."
Call it, friendos: is one of those the best of all time? Is there another bloc — and all four comedies have to be great, as opposed to what "NewsRadio" creator Paul Simms once dubbed the "double decker shit sandwich" where "Friends" and "Seinfeld" were flanked by the likes of "Jesse" and "Veronica's Closet" — that you would argue belongs in the discussion?