Originally Posted by Dr. Thong
The original set was also lit differently -- it always seemed darker.
Maybe because the first live episode was a test, they didn't want to spend money on a new set. Once they decided to go with shooting in front of a live audience, maybe they wanted a bigger set so that they could shoot it more easily.
My point is that the set on that test episode is NOT the same set they were normally shooting on during the first two seasons. You have to look very carefully and you'll see it's NOT the same set, although it appears to be (the right side of the living room is different, as is the left side of the kitchen). Perhaps it made use of the original set, modifying it and moving it to a space where they could accommodate bleachers full of a few hundred people. So my point is that they apparently DID spend money to construct some sort of a live audience set. Yet when the show began shooting regularly in front of a studio audience they built yet another one. If it's a question of lighting, relighting a set is not such a big deal. And if they wanted to expand the set, they could have done that without totally changing it. If for whatever reason they were going to totally change it, they should have written an episode where the Cunninghams move to a new house . . . and don't take Chuck with them.