Television today is better than ever. From The Sopranos to Breaking Bad, Sex and the City to Girls, and Modern Family to Louie, never has so much quality programming dominated our screens. Exploring how we got here, acclaimed TV critic David Bianculli traces the evolution of the classic TV genres, among them the sitcom, the crime show, the miniseries, the soap opera, the Western, the animated series, the medical drama, and the variety show. In each genre he selects five key examples of the form to illustrate its continuities and its dramatic departures. Drawing on exclusive and in-depth interviews with many of the most famed auteurs in television history, Bianculli shows how the medium has evolved into the premier form of visual narrative art. Â Includes interviews with: MEL BROOKS, MATT GROENING, DAVID CHASE, KEVIN SPACEY, AMY SCHUMER, VINCE GILLIGAN, AARON SORKIN, MATTHEW WEINER, JUDD APATOW, LOUIS C.K., DAVID MILCH, DAVID E. KELLEY, JAMES L. BROOKS, LARRY DAVID, KEN BURNS, LARRY WILMORE, AND MANY, MANY MORE
Castleman and Podrazik present a sweeping season-by-season story, capturing the essence of television from its inception to the contemporary era of anytime access and online streaming, including every prime time fall schedule since 1944. The authors have dug through the mounds of obscure facts, offbeat anecdotes, and corporate strategies that have made television a multibillion-dollar industry. Watching TV provides a fascinating history of how the personalities, popular shows, and coverage of key events have evolved across eight decades. Full of facts, firsts, insights, and exploits, as well as rare and memorable photographs, Watching TV is the standard history of American television. This third edition includes coverage up through the mid-2010s and looks ahead to the next waves of change.
Is The Wire better than Breaking Bad? Is Cheers better than Seinfeld? What's the best high school show ever made? Why did Moonlighting really fall apart? Was the Arrested Development Netflix season brilliant or terrible?
For twenty years-since they shared a TV column at Tony Soprano's hometown newspaper-critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz have been debating these questions and many more, but it all ultimately boils down to this:
What's the greatest TV show ever?
That debate reaches an epic conclusion in TV (THE BOOK). Sepinwall and Seitz have identified and ranked the 100 greatest scripted shows in American TV history. Using a complex, obsessively all- encompassing scoring system, they've created a Pantheon of top TV shows, each accompanied by essays delving into what made these shows great. From vintage classics like The Twilight Zone and I Love Lucy to modern masterpieces like Mad Men and Friday Night Lights, from huge hits like All in the Family and ER to short-lived favorites like Firefly and Freaks and Geeks, TV (THE BOOK) will bring the triumphs of the small screen together in one amazing compendium.
Sepinwall and Seitz's argument has ended. Now it's time for yours to begin!
AMERICAâS #1 BESTSELLING TELEVISION BOOK WITH MORE THAN HALF A MILLION COPIES IN PRINT— NOW REVISED AND UPDATED!
PROGRAMS FROM ALL SEVEN COMMERCIAL BROADCAST NETWORKS, MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED CABLE NETWORKS, PLUS ALL MAJOR SYNDICATED SHOWS!
This is the must-have book for TV viewers in the new millennium—the entire history of primetime programs in one convenient volume. Itâs a guide youâll turn to again and again for information on every series ever telecast. There are entries for all the great shows, from evergreens like The Honeymooners, All in the Family, and Happy Days to modern classics like 24, The Office, and Desperate Housewives; all the gripping sci-fi series, from Captain Video and the new Battle Star Galactica to all versions of Star Trek; the popular serials, from Peyton Place and Dallas to Dawsonâs Creek and Ugly Betty; the reality show phenomena American Idol, Survivor, and The Amazing Race; and the hits on cable, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Top Chef, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Project Runway, and SpongeBob SquarePants. This comprehensive guide lists every program alphabetically and includes a complete broadcast history, cast, and engaging plot summary—along with exciting behind-the-scenes stories about the shows and the stars.
MORE THAN 500 ALL-NEW LISTINGS from Heroes and Greyâs Anatomy to 30 Rock and Nip/Tuck UPDATES ON CONTINUING SHOWS such as CSI, Gilmore Girls, The Simpsons, and The Real World EXTENSIVE CABLE COVERAGE with more than 1,000 entries, including a description of the programming on each major cable network AND DONâT MISS the exclusive and updated âPh.D. Trivia Quizâ of 200 questions that will challenge even the most ardent TV fan, plus a streamlined guide to TV-related websites for those who want to be constantly up-to-date
SPECIAL FEATURES! â¢ Annual program schedules at a glance for the past 61 years â¢ Top-rated shows of each season â¢ Emmy Award winners â¢ Longest-running series â¢ Spin-off series â¢ Theme songs â¢ A fascinating history of TV
âThis is the Guinness Book of World Records . . . the Encyclopedia Britannica of television!â —TV Guide
First demonstrated in 1928, color television remained little more than a novelty for decades as the industry struggled with the considerable technical, regulatory, commercial, and cultural complications posed by the medium. Only fully adopted by all three networks in the 1960s, color television was imagined as a new way of seeing that was distinct from both monochrome television and other forms of color media. It also inspired compelling popular, scientific, and industry conversations about the use and meaning of color and its effects on emotions, vision, and desire. In Bright Signals Susan Murray traces these wide-ranging debates within and beyond the television industry, positioning the story of color television, which was replete with false starts, failure, and ingenuity, as central to the broader history of twentieth-century visual culture. In so doing, she shows how color television disrupted and reframed the very idea of television while it simultaneously revealed the tensions about technology's relationship to consumerism, human sight, and the natural world.
Plowing a potato field in 1920, a 14-year-old farm boy from Idaho saw in the parallel rows of overturned earth a way to âmake pictures fly through the air.â This boy was not a magician; he was a scientific genius and just eight years later he made his brainstorm in the potato field a reality by transmitting the worldâs first television image. This fascinating picture-book biography of Philo Farnsworth covers his early interest in machines and electricity, leading up to how he put it all together in one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. The authorâs afterword discusses the lawsuit Farnsworth waged and won against RCA when his high school science teacher testified that Philoâs invention of television was years before RCAâs.
Television is a form of media without equal. It has revolutionized the way we learn about and communicate with the world and has reinvented the way we experience ourselves and others. More than just cheap entertainment, TV is an undeniable component of our culture and contains many clues to who we are, what we value, and where we might be headed in the future.
Media historian Gary R. Edgerton follows the technological developments and increasing cultural relevance of TV from its prehistory (before 1947) to the Network Era (1948-1975) and the Cable Era (1976-1994). He begins with the laying of the first telegraph line in 1844, which gave rise to the idea that images and sounds could be transmitted over long distances. He then considers the remodeling of television's look and purpose during World War II; the gender, racial, and ethnic components of its early broadcasts and audiences; its transformation of postwar America; and its function in the political life of the country. He talks of the birth of prime time and cable, the influence of innovators like Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, Roone Arledge, and Ted Turner, as well as television's entrance into the international market, describing the ascent of such programs as Dallas and The Cosby Show, and the impact these exports have had on transmitting American culture abroad.
Edgerton concludes with a discerning look at our current Digital Era (1995-present) and the new forms of instantaneous communication that continue to change America's social, political, and economic landscape. Richly researched and engaging, Edgerton's history tracks television's growth into a convergent technology, a global industry, a social catalyst, a viable art form, and a complex and dynamic reflection of the American mind and character. It took only ten years for television to penetrate thirty-five million households, and by 1983, the average home kept their set on for more than seven hours a day. The Columbia History of American Television illuminates our complex relationship with this singular medium and provides historical and critical knowledge for understanding TV as a technology, an industry, an art form, and an institutional force.
Guaranteed to keep you up long after prime time, The Box re-creates the old-time TV years through more than three hundred interviews with those who invented, manufactured, advertised, produced, directed, wrote, and acted in them. Their reminiscences are intertwined with a chronological narrative that tells the technological, business, and entertainment storiesâfrom pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth, through the Golden Age of comedy and drama, to FCC chairman Newt Minow's historic speech declaring television a âvast wasteland.â Here are household names and fascinating unknowns, from the brilliant RCA scientists who flew paper airplanes off the Empire State Building, to Uncle Miltie, Edward R. Murrow, and Beaver's mom. You'll hear about the great pioneering stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, and the inside story from the people who fixed the quiz shows. This enormous treasury of sparkling memories and candid opinions truly breaks new ground in the history of television. This new edition includes over 100 photos of people, events, and memorabilia! âWondrous... An oral scrapbook of the pioneering days of our video nationâ âThe New York Times Book Review âPerhaps the highest compliment one can pay this popcorn page-turner is that it would make a terrific TV documentary.â âPeople âThe best book ever about the early days of America's most pervasive communication medium.â âLos Angeles Daily News âA gossipy and profanely entertaining reality check by way of everyone from June Cleaver to Studs Terkel.â âThe Boston Globe âA tour de force... Readers will get a good perspective on the business.â âHugh Downs âRivetingâ âL.A. Weekly âThe Box is hilarious, tacky, screwball, and sublimeâeverything that TV itself has always been.â âMinneapolis Star Tribune
First airing in 1966, with a promise to âboldly go where no man has gone before,â Star Trek would eventually become a bona fide phenomenon. Week after week, viewers of the series tuned in to watch Captain Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the crew of the USS Enterprise as they conducted their five-year mission in space. Their mission was cut short by a corporate monolith that demanded higher ratings, but Star Trek lived on in syndication, ultimately becoming a multibillion-dollar media franchise. With merchandise spin-offs, feature films, and several television iterationsâfrom The Next Generation to DiscoveryâStar Trek is a firmly established part of the American cultural landscape.
In Star Trek: A Cultural History, M. Keith Booker offers an intriguing account of the series from its original run to its far-reaching impact on society. By placing the Star Trek franchise within the context of American history and popular culture, the author explores how the series engaged with political and social issues such as the Vietnam War, race, gender, and the advancement of technology. While this book emphasizes the original series, it also addresses the significance of subsequent programs, as well as the numerous films and extensive array of novels, comic books, and merchandise that have been produced in the decades since.
A show that originally resonated with science fiction fans, Star Trek has also intrigued the general public due to its engaging characters, exciting plotlines, and vision of a better future. It is those exact elements that allowed Star Trek to go from simply a good show to the massive media franchise it is today. Star Trek: A Cultural History will appeal to scholars of media, television, and popular culture, as well as to fans of the show.
It is sometimes said that we are living in a Golden Age of television. What does that mean, and how did we get there? Readers find the answers as they trace the history of television, from its invention to the current age of Peak TV. This fascinating story is presented to readers through informative main text, annotated quotations, detailed sidebars, primary sources, and a comprehensive timeline. Television has changed nearly every aspect of life in many countries, and readers are sure to be excited by this fun and fact-filled look at how history and television have influenced each other.