Mid-day Extra: The value of the laugh track

The cast of 'Modern Family' pose in the press room after winning Outstanding Comedy Series during the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sept. 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, Calif.

Modern comedies seem to embrace the awkward -- those not-so-subtle pauses that make the characters on the screen seem a bit more real.

We've gotten so used to that kind of comedy these days -- think "Modern Family"or "Curb Your Enthusiasm" -- that more traditional formats, complete with laugh tracks, might seem, well, outdated.

But in today's Mid-day Extra, we ask: is the laugh track making a comeback?

We talked to Joe Adalian, of New York Magazine and Vulture.com, about why this season's hits (or at least non-failures) might feel a bit old-school. He says that there have been actual studies done that people respond well to laughter in the background of TV shows, even though today, it might feel cheesy to those watching at home.

The writer is sure to point out that not all sit-coms, complete with laugh tracks, have fallen by the wayside. And today, the most successful shows seem to be split down the middle -- some going the laugh track route, and some not.

But, Adalian predicts that in the coming years, the laugh track might continue to fade out -- audience expectations have changed.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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