A British sitcom is a situation comedy programme produced for British television. Although styles of sitcom have changed over the years they tend to be based on a family, workplace or other institution, where the same group of contrasting characters is brought together in each episode - Are You Being Served? and it's sequal, Grace and Favour, are prime examples of this.
British sitcoms are typically produced in one or more series of six episodes. Most such series are conceived and developed by one or two writers.
The majority of British sitcoms are 30 minutes long and are recorded on studio sets in a multiple-camera setup. A subset of British comedy consciously avoids traditional situation comedy themes and storylines to branch out into more unusual topics or narrative methods. Blackadder (1983–89) and Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister (1980–88, 2013) moved what is often a domestic or workplace genre into the corridors of power. A later development was the mockumentary in such series as The Office (2001–3).
Are You Being Served? is among British sitcoms shown in the United States, on the Public Broadcasting Service, usually thanks to the effort of WGBH, and increasingly on cable television, including BBC America and Comedy Central. The shows are usually refered to as 'Britcoms.'