Where exactly did I claim to be "know more"? The sitcom formula isn't some secret known only to TV companies. That's my understanding too (it is after all a full 30 minute show not 22 minutes), but even if it was broadcast domestically commercial-free it still needs to be formatted for ad breaks for the export market. The shorter the third act the better. I might add it also makes it more infuriating as a viewer because often with 22 minute shows the third act is just a couple of scenes after the commercial break and then the credits (this is because the entire Third Act is often contained in the "Kicker" even starting part-way through the "Kicker" part of the episode). Red Dwarf most certainly is formatted for two ad breaks, it's just not formatted to fit into a 30 minute time slot with them. I suggest you read the links I gave in the OP (if you haven't) because once you understand the sitcom structure it's impossible not to notice it, as mentioned here: "But as for how to construct an episode, various bloggers, from the Wise Sloth to helpful folks at the BBC, noted a basic structure that I immediately recognized in every sitcom episode I tested. This structure is so formulaic that you’d think it would suck the fun out of writing and watching such shows, but it does nothing of the sort. While knowing the code it changes the way I watch TV, it only increases my admiration for the good writers who do so much within relatively strict confines." As for the ad breaks, that's addressed here: "The final scene in acts 1 and 2 should feature some sort of twist or added complication that will leave the audience engaged and make them want to wait through the commercial break to see what happens in the next act." This is exactly what happens in Cooking the Books. The final scene of Act 1 is Manny swallowing the Little Book of Calm and being rushed to the hospital. The final scene of Act 2 is Bernard being punched by the skinheads. Both serve the purpose to keep the audience engaged past the commercial break, assuming of course that there will be one. With scenes like these the studio produces two versions, one with a hard break ready for the commercials, and one with a more seamless transition as is the case with the DVD version. The broadcast version of 24 without commercials for example removed the count-down clock - it was intended to be removed for broadcasting without commercials (this is why there's never any action in the count-down clock, only in the count-up clock), this allowed broadcasters to remove any commercial breaks in the show they didn't want (i.e. take fewer commercial breaks) or to remove the commercials entirely. For some strange reason though the count-down scenes are included in the DVD version - but believe me those scenes flowed a lot better with the count-down removed, which is how I first saw the series (Season 5 broadcast ad-free on Foxtel)! Black Books S01E01 is very clearly three acts, and very clearly three stories. The best sitcom episodes, generally speaking, have three stories like this episode does. The main one that propels the story forward, and the two sub-plots that serve to introduce our characters. Fran's story is not a "gag". She first opens up the new product in her shop, then Bernard walks in. She asks him to buy one, he asks what it is, and she doesn't know, he leaves and Fran says "I do sell a lot of smeg don't I?" This happens in Act 1. In Act 2, Fran is minding Bernard's shop and is asking his customer what her product is. The following day she walks back into Black Books still holding the object, still trying to figure out what it is. Then she does that again. Then she goes to Black Books again to work out what it is, asks Bernard's customers, and this time she misses her friend's birth (but she doesn't know this yet so she panics and rushes out the door to get to the hospital). In other genres all this wheel-spinning can feel dissatisfying (its certainly harder to get right and keep the audience interested). Bernard being punched is the end of Act 2, this is where the second commercial break is intended to go. Act 3 is less than 2 minutes minus the credits. In Act 3 Fran comes back into Black Books to use Bernard's yellow pages. Even though she could just go to her own shop or walk into any shop along her way, this is not really possible in the real world because she would have backtracked quite a way (Bernard has already been knocked out, and after some time perhaps half an hour or more has woken up), but it's essential so that her story can be resolved as it is when Manny instinctively knows what her object is. Plus it happens so fast you're not meant to notice this problem. It's a structured story, for its conclusion to work Manny has to be absent in all the previous scenes with the object. This kind of linking sub-plots is very commonly used in sitcom as it can be very comedic, and for the audience it feels very satisfying because there's lots of fun in seeing the sub-plots link up in the final Act. Seinfeld for example uses this trope all the time.