How do you define success?
There are many people who would say that true creative success is defined by popularity, which means Chuck Lorre is one of the most successful creators in the history of television. He worked on Roseanne and created Grace Under Fire, Cybil, Dharma and Greg, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly, and Mom.
These are some of the most watched TV programs ever. Even his bombs lasted longer than some creators' hits.
Other people would say that success is irrelevant to popularity. That just because the masses approve of something, doesn't mean that something is good. In fact, the approval of the horde of humanity is often a sign that something is really, truly bad.
No matter how many people watch Two and a Half Men, there will be as many people mystified by that viewership. Our great great grandchildren will not be tossing Shakespeare aside to study Big Bang Theory scripts. What sets Lorre's work apart isn't its uniqueness or its willingness to take risks or redefine the medium — it is the total, consistent mediocrity of everything he does.
So is Chuck Lorre one of the greatest TV writers, creators, producers in history? Or just another contributor to the decline of American culture?
Much like with his shows, it depends on who's watching.