When The One Show recently ran a poll to find The Best -loved BBC shows ever, half of The Top programmes were sitcoms - But None was launched within The Last 15 years. So where are the Future Classics ?
In Comparison , at least One sitcom appeared every year from 1983 to 2007 (except 1994) - When shows like Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley, One Foot in The Grave , Keeping Up Appearances and Men Behaving Badly popped up in the annual Top 10 lists.
So has the supply of sitcoms that can make The Nation laugh dried up?'Talk-about-ability'
No, according to Mr Petrie, who says it just takes longer for people to discover and Fall In love with a sitcom now, with so much content from which to choose.
Meanwhile, a gripping drama is best watched at the same time as the rest of the country, or world. " With dramas, there's more of a talk-about-ability of something, " he says.
" Like with Squid Game - everyone was talking about it, and you feel like if you're not in that conversation, [you're missing out]. Whereas comedy is more of a drip, drip, drip, and people will come to it. "
He says 11. 5 million people have now come to the 2019 first episode of Ghosts , One of The Few sitcoms to have broken through with a broad audience in recent years. That would rival The Overnight ratings for beloved older shows.
Once viewers do discover a sitcom they like, they revisit it often, whether it's old or new, Mr Petrie says. " The Life of comedy is just much, much longer. "
Ash Atalla , who produced The Office and The IT Crowd and executive produces Stath Lets Flats, says comedies have been " left in the rear-view mirror" during the streaming era, while money has been pumped into dramas with more global appeal.
" Comedy's so country-specific. That's always been the case, " he says. " Whereas a Murder Case , a thriller, a dead body floating in a River - None of those feel quintessentially British, or American, or anything. "
So sitcoms have " lost ground" and not evolved in The Way dramas and documentaries have done with their streaming dollars, he believes.
" Alongside our beautifully-curated jewels of British comedy, I think we should also be trying to entice the streamers to put bigger bets on UK shows and be a bit more international-facing as well. "
Having a hit show now often means " being at The Top of your niche" rather than becoming a " juggernaut" like in previous years, Mr Atalla adds.
" There's a mind-bending number of shows. You have so much to choose from with all The American stuff. You can find shows that really speak to you so specifically. You kind of go, 'this has just been made for me'.
" So you can find something really tailored to your tastes, and that will be your hit. It's not necessarily The Hit that the whole family will enjoy. It will be your hit. And that's a different kind of hit. "
Greg Davies , who has starred in and/or written sitcoms like The Inbetweeners , Cuckoo, Man Down and The Cleaner - which has just been given a second Series - agrees " it probably is" harder to establish a show now.
As viewers, " we all get that streaming service snow-blindness of options" he says. " If you're writing, you just can't think About That . You just have to Do Something that you're excited by, and not think about All That . "
But he adds: " I think really good quality stuff gets found. "Five of The Best British sitcoms of The Last five years'Very willing' for more Gavin and Stacey
" When they feel like they're ready to do another episode, we'll be here, very willing to make it, " Mr Petrie says enthusiastically.
He also wants to extend the lifespans of current hit shows. " When we've got something like Motherland or Ghosts , it's having the confidence to go, well, let's just do loads more of that because people keep returning to that. "
Does he think it will ever be possible to find another show as popular as Only Fools and Horses?
" Yeah, I do, " he replies. " It's just [about] time. It could be Motherland. But nowadays you just have to keep making more of it because it takes longer for something to cut through, because there's so much stuff. "
The Bbc is also looking for new ideas. Sitcoms set around families or workplaces are " what audiences crave" he says.
He says: " We don't get pitched very many family sitcoms. So we're putting a call out to the industry to say, look at the Numbers - our audiences really, really want to watch this, so send us more of it. "