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'Hot in Cleveland': Old school is hot

There’s a reason (or three) that TV Land’s newest series feels like a throwback to sitcoms of yesteryear — and it’s not just because of the seasoned leaded ladies

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1. Live studio audience
The show launches with a familiar line you probably haven’t heard in a while: ”Hot in Cleveland is recorded in front of a live studio audience.” ”I was watching Cheers and I heard Ted Danson say the line, and I thought, We need to do that! We need to tell people, remind them again that shows are shot in front of a live studio audience,” explains exec producer Todd Milliner.

2. Constant chuckles
It may sound like a laugh track, but Milliner claims that the giggles from the studio audience are the real deal. ”We keep the original laughs,” says Milliner. ”In fact, when we don’t hear a reaction — like when we thought something was funnier than it was — we still want to keep that, too, because it’s a true response.”

3. Familiar guest stars
New faces aren’t so hot in Cleveland. Instead, it’s a parade of veteran TV stars, including The Dukes of Hazzard‘s John Schneider in the pilot, Carl Reiner in episode 3, and The Carol Burnett Show‘s Tim Conway in upcoming episodes. ”Why not use people who we loved in other sitcoms?” says Milliner. Paging John Ratzenberger!