Broadly speaking, there are two ways to shoot a sitcom. There’s the traditional multi-camera style of “I Love Lucy,” “The Cosby Show” and “Seinfeld” — as seen currently on hits like “How I Met Your Mother” and “Two and a Half Men.” On the other hand, “30 Rock,” “Arrested Development” and “The Office” use a more cinematic single-camera shooting style. Multi-camera shows usually have a live audience or laugh track; single-camera shows dispense with the stage metaphor and have no laugh track. For you gamers, it’s somewhat analogous to the difference between a side-scrolling video game like Mario Brothers and a first-person shooter, like Halo.
read more | Kartina Richards, The Great Sitcom Divide | Salon