William Asher, who has died aged 90 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, directed 100 episodes of I Love Lucy (1952-57) and 131 episodes of Bewitched (1964-72), far more than any other director on those two series. His name, appearing so regularly in the credits of such immensely popular Us sitcoms, became known to millions of television viewers all over the world.
Asher, who is often erroneously credited with having invented the TV sitcom – there were several adaptations of radio shows in the late 1940s – nevertheless gave a fresh impetus to the genre by using a multiple-camera setup for I Love Lucy. This enabled him to shoot the action simultaneously from different viewpoints, then select the best shots. Earlier sitcoms were broadcast live and recorded on kinescopes, or not recorded at all. Desilu Productions, founded by the comedy couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz,