A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, accompanied with jokes as part of the dialogue...
that premiered on NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...
on January 22, 1983. It was cancelled in May 1984, but NBC would continue to air reruns until September 1985. In September 1986, Mama's Family returned in first-run syndication
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...
, where it aired for an additional four seasons, ending on February 24, 1990. Mama's Family is a spin-off
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...
of a recurring series of comedy sketches called The Family
The Family (sketch)
The Family is a series of skits that aired on The Carol Burnett Show. It was so successful that it became a recurring skit on The Carol Burnett Show and later spun off into the comedy series Mama's Family, a show which first aired on NBC, and then in syndication...
, which appeared on The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show is a variety / sketch comedy television show starring Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, and Tim Conway. It originally ran on CBS from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, for 278 episodes and originated from CBS Television City's Studio 33...
in the 1970s.
The show, set in the town of Raytown, Missouri, revolved around a typical squabbling family, headed by Thelma Harper
Thelma Harper is a fictional character, who originally appeared on the ongoing Mama's Family on The Carol Burnett Show. She was portrayed by Vicki Lawrence...
— a buxom, blue-haired, purse-lipped, 65-year-old widow, who is loudmouthed and outspoken.