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Louie returns family sitcoms to prime time

Louis C. K. in LOUIE episode DUCKLING.


The 1980s were a golden age of family sitcoms, led by such classics as Family Ties, Growing Pains and the ne plus ultra of the genre, The Cosby Show. The latter of those starred the successful, happily married Cliff and Clair Huxtable, who were shown properly and proactively parenting their kids, ending what The New York Times once described as "the tyranny of the smart television child".

In the subsequent two decades, Friends- and Seinfeld-inspired single-people comedies took over. But the critical and commercial success of Modern Family has led the charge in bringing families back to prime time. And now, this month's long-awaited arrival on FX Canada of Louie, the critically adored and Emmy-nominated single-parent comedy from stand-up icon Louis C.K., has brought a new Cosby-esque dad onto our TV sets.

So we thought it high time we took a closer look at the – yeah, yeah – modern-family sitcom to see what the new ones can teach us about raising kids, and if any of these parents can hold a child-safe candle to Cliff and Clair. Click on the gallery (left) for a survey.

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Louie airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX Canada.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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