The gutsy network sitcom isn't dead. But it's definitely on life support.

Its condition is not due to a shortage of talent. "Grand Crew" and "American Auto," which both debut Tuesday on NBC, were created by people who seem to be dedicated to nudging viewers out of their comfort zone. But they also seem to want to appease executives worried about offending a measurable portion of their audience. The compromise: comedy with all the edges shaved off.

"American Auto," which airs at 7 p.m. comes from Justin Spitzer, who previously gave us "Superstore." Like he did in that recently canceled series, he explores deep divisions in class and race.

His new sitcom takes place at a Detroit motor company being run by an unflappable CEO ("SNL" veteran Ana Gasteyer) who is so disinterested in the industry that she never learned to drive.

Her inner circle includes a spoiled brat who thinks GLAAD is the organization behind trash bags and is the designer of a driver-less car that runs over Black pedestrians. In one episode, the corporate team hesitates to help police track down a skin-stripping serial killer out of concern that they'll alienate their anti-government customers.

These are bold ideas. But you can almost feel the writers pulling back on the punchlines in fear of crossing over some imaginary line in the sand.

You never got that hesitation in this past season of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in which Larry David took a KKK member's robe for dry cleaning and stole some shoes from a Holocaust exhibit.

Compared with any episode of FXX's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," a sitcom that practically dares sensitive viewers to speed dial the FCC, "Auto" seems about as tame as an episode of "Car Talk."

"Grand Crew," which immediately follows at 7:30 p.m., also seems to have an ambitious agenda. It revolves around a group of Black men who defy TV stereotypes. They gossip at wine bars, cry while watching "Paddington 2" and chill out to Michael Bolton.

But the first few episodes don't dare to dig any deeper. I have to imagine that's frustrating for creator Phil Augusta Jackson, who previously wrote for "Insecure" and "Key and Peele," which relished the opportunity to stir the pot. Everything about "Crew" seems tamped down, with the exception of Nicole Byer, a comic who's never afraid to let her freak flag fly.

Every so often, network TV will go out on a limb. One recent example was NBC's "The Good Place," a stellar series that found a way to address religion without triggering a fatwa. ABC's "Black-ish," which kicks off its eighth and final season on Tuesday, continually finds ways to tackle race in thought-provoking ways.

But those risk-takers are getting rarer and rarer.

There's nothing wrong with comfort TV. Sitcoms like "Parks and Recreation" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" were brilliant despite having nothing more on their agenda than delivering laughs. But if you want comedy that takes on social issues, you're almost forced to pony up for cable and streaming services. Maybe it's time for networks to stop green-lighting controversial fare without allowing the writers to step on the gas.

Without that freedom, shows like "Auto" and "Crew" shouldn't even leave the garage.