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EW looks back: TV's worst sitcoms

The recent cancellation of ABC’s horrible men-dressing-as-women-oh-how-funny series ”Work It” was cause for both celebration and great debate in the EW offices. The question at hand: What piece of comedy dreck earns the title of worst sitcom of all time? Our writers offer their picks

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Whoopi
NBC, 2003-04
I don’t think Whoopi is the worst sitcom of all time. I know Whoopi is the worst sitcom of all time. Because I watched it. With my eyes. Which then shed lots of tears. The plot had something to do with Whoopi Goldberg as a singer–turned–hotel owner named Mavis Rae. (Why it was not called Mavis, then, I have no idea.) The show tried desperately to be ”edgy” and ”political.” Too bad it wasn’t also ”funny.” —Dalton Ross

Cavemen
ABC, 2007
Adapted from a zeitgeisty series of Geico commercials, the show centered on an effete, squash-playing trio of San Diego cavebros struggling to turn a 30-second gag into a half-hour sitcom. But watching civilized Cro-Magnons navigate the Homo sapiens world proved too thin a premise, and the low-rated show was canceled after six episodes — ultimately giving a bad name to the fine people who contributed fire, the wheel, and Encino Man. —Ray Rahman

Emeril
NBC, 2001
With nonactor master chef Emeril Lagasse starring on a sitcom, what could go wrong? Uh, BAM! Everything! This flat soufflé stale cooking jokes couldn’t even be saved by pro producers Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason (Designing Women). Thankfully, Emeril himself survived with his foodie rep intact. —Ken Tucker

The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer
UPN, 1998
In retrospect, UPN should have known a show that pronounced the surname ”Puh-fifer” would never catch on with audiences. But maybe compared with the fact that the sitcom’s main character was a nobleman brought to America on a slave ship to be President Lincoln’s valet, a non-silent P was the least of the show’s issues. After airing four episodes, the network yanked this low-rated disaster. It remains unclear whose reputation suffered more: UPN’s or President Lincoln’s.—Jessica Shaw

Public Morals
CBS, 1996
NYPD Blue‘s TV legacy is for the most part stellar (see: The Shield), but it’s got one big, ugly blemish: Public Morals. The comedy about cops in the NYPD’s vice squad came from Blue creator Steven Bochco, and while it tried to translate the drama’s bold, raw style into sitcommery, it is best (and barely) known for (1) using the phrase ”p—y posse” in the pilot and (2) being canceled after one episode. —Kristen Baldwin