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
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.
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.
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.
Since Hopalong Cassidy and the Lone Ranger blazed their first trails on television in 1949, Westerns have been the genre of choice for 180 series through 1996. Some (Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Maverick, for example) were classics; others, such as 26 Men and Shotgun Slade, were quickly forgotten. From Adventures of Briscoe County, Jr., through Zorro and Son, this comprehensive reference work covers all 180 Western series. Each entry opens with a listing of the broadcast history of the series, including original network, day and time. This is followed by a listing of the regular cast members and a brief premise of the series. The individual episodes are then covered, with the title, original air date, leading guest stars and a brief synopsis given. An exhaustive index completes the work.
Few morose thoughts permeate the brain when Yosemite Sam calls Bugs Bunny a âlong-eared galutâ or a frustrated Homer Simpson blurts out his famous catch-word, âDâoh!â A Celebration of Animation explores the best-of-the-best cartoon characters from the 1920s to the 21st century. Casting a wide net, it includes characters both serious and humorous, and ranging from silly to malevolent. But all the greats gracing this book are sure to trigger nostalgic memories of carefree Saturday mornings or after-school hours with family and friends in front of the TV set.
The History of Prime Time Television is a user-friendly textbook that chronicles television's unique history from the drawing board to the living room, and beyond. Organized chronologically, the book begins by briefly addressing the age of invention and the birth of radio. However, the primary focus of the text surrounds prime time programming, homing in on the series that defined their respective decade by reflecting changes in the culture, style and values of the time, and how some went on to become iconic representations of 20th and 21st century America.
Each decade's historical importance, as well as all of the nuance and chronological markers connected to the story of television itself, is covered in a way that engages students and helps them retain what they are learning. Discussion questions geared to tap into the studentsâ critical thinking follow every chapter. Topics include:
Invention and PromotionâTelevisionâs Early Struggles
How Serious Programming began with Comedy
The Role of Television During Wartime
Prime Time Television's Golden Age
Civil Rights and Television
Televisionâs Symbiotic Relationship to Sports
The Birth and Growth of Cable Programming
Students will also glean information about the impact of each decadeâs culture on television and learn about the transition from black and white to color programming, deregulation, censorship, and the future of television in the new millennium.
The History of Prime Time Television includes fascinating information about the historical milestones that made television not just a form of entertainment, but a social mediator, a political force, and American's window into the human experience and condition. The book is ideal for courses in the areas of media history, entertainment history, and media communications.
George Lee Marshall earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from San Diego State University. Working for the government after college, he went on to make educational and training films for the United States Navy. In 1983, he began writing for both television and feature films, selling over 50 screenplays, treatments, long-form teleplays, television episodes and pilots over the next twenty-five years, earning him lifetime member status in the Writers Guild of America. In 2000, he was asked by San Diego State University to develop and teach writing courses for their School of Theater, Television and Film. There, over the past 13 years, Lee has introduced curriculum and created courses for upper-division and graduate-level classes, including âThe History of Prime Time Television.â Professor Marshall has worked with the Veteran's Administration at California State University, Long Beach to create and teach a 15-week real-time online storytelling course for returning veterans, while being twice recognized at SDSU as his departmentâs Outstanding Faculty. Professor Marshall currently lectures at the nationally acclaimed Dodge College of Film and Media Arts on the Chapman University Campus teaching TV history, business, and writing courses.
From the co-creator of the landmark series, the story millions of fans have been waiting to get their hands on for 25 long years.
The Secret History of Twin Peaks enlarges the world of the original series, placing the unexplained phenomena that unfolded there into a vastly layered, wide-ranging history, beginning with the journals of Lewis and Clark and ending with the shocking events that closed the finale. The perfect way to get in the mood for the upcoming Showtime series.
On September 19, 1962, The Virginian made its primetime broadcast premiere. The 1902 novel by Owen Wister had already seen four movie adaptations when Frank Price mentioned the story's series potential to NBC. Filmed in color, The Virginian became television's first 90-minute western series. Immensely successful, it ran for nine seasons--television's third longest running western. This work accounts for the entire creative history of The Virginian, including the original inspirations and the motion picture adaptations--but the primary focus is its transformation into television and the ways in which the show changed over time. An extensive episode guide includes title, air date, guest star(s), writers, producers, director and a brief synopsis of each of The Virginian's 249 episodes, along with detailed cast and production credits.