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.
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
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!
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.
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.
Selected for "100 Biographies & Memoirs to Read in a Lifetime" - AmazonÂ includes THE LAST LONE INVENTOR on its all-time best list.
In a story that is both of its time and timeless, Evan I. Schwartz tells a tale of genius versus greed, innocence versus deceit, and independent brilliance versus corporate arrogance. Many men have laid claim to the title "father of television," but Philo T. Farnsworth is the true genius behind what may be the most influential invention of our time. Driven by his obsession to demonstrate his idea,by the age of twenty Farnsworth was operating his own laboratory above a garage in San Francisco and filing for patents. The resulting publicity caught the attention of RCA tycoon David Sarnoff, who became determined to control television in the same way he monopolized radio. Based on original research, including interviews with Farnsworth family members, The Last Lone Inventor is the story of the epic struggle between two equally passionate adversaries whose clash symbolized a turning point in the culture of creativity.
When critics decry the current state of our public discourse, one reliably easy target is television news. Itâs too dumbed-down, they say; itâs no longer news but entertainment, celebrity-obsessed and vapid. Â The critics may be right. But, as Charles L. Ponce de Leon explains in Thatâs the Way It Is, TV news has always walked a fine line between hard news and fluff. The Â familiar story of decline fails to acknowledge real changes in the media and Americansâ news-consuming habits, while also harking back to a golden age that, on closer examination, is revealed to be not so Â golden after all. Ponce de Leon traces the entire history of televised news, from the household names of the late 1940s and early â50s, like Eric Sevareid, Edward R. Murrow, and Walter Cronkite, through the rise of cable, the political power of Fox News, and the satirical punch of Colbert and Stewart. He shows us an industry forever in transition, where newsmagazines and celebrity profiles vie with political news and serious investigations. The need for ratings successâand the lighter, human interest stories that can help bring itâPonce de Leon makes clear, has always sat uneasily alongside a real desire to report hard news. Â Highlighting the contradictions and paradoxes at the heart of TV news, and telling a story rich in familiar figures and fascinating anecdotes, Thatâs the Way It Is will be the definitive account of how television has showed us our history as it happens.
The Time Tunnel was by no means a superb product of Friday night entertainment. If the plot holes were not as large as the tunnel itself, viewers noticed the same props from Allen's other television programs popping up on the show. Fan boys to this day still debate whether the futuristic episodes involving space aliens were better than the historic adventures, but few would deny that Lee Meriwether made a lab coat look sexy. Meriwether herself recalled how the cast received letters from school teachers who used The Time Tunnel to stimulate interest in history in the classroom. This 546 page book documents the entire history of the program, the origin and conception of the series, why it never ran a second season, almost 200 never-before-published behind-the-scenes photographs, and a detailed episode guide including dates of production, music cues, episode budgets, salary costs, deleted scenes that were filmed, memories from cast and crew, bloopers, trivia and much more!
Head 'em up, move 'em out! Saddle up for the first full-length account of one of the most authentic and enduring western series in television history: Rawhide! Including: * Foreword by Charles Gray * Cast biographies * Production details * Summaries of all 217 episodes with broadcast dates, directors, writers and guest stars * 49 photographs * Interview with frequent guest star Gregory Walcott * Full index