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Television in the Antenna Age: A Concise History

ISBN: 978-0-631-21543-1
152 pages
December 2004, Wiley-Blackwell
Television in the Antenna Age: A Concise History (0631215433) cover image

Description

Television in the Antenna Age is a brief, accessible, and engaging overview of the medium’s history and development in the US. Integrating three major concerns--television as an industry, a technology, and an art—the book is a basic primer on the complex, fascinating, and often overlooked story of television and its impact on American life.

  • Covers the entire history of American television, from its urban, middle-class beginnings in the late 40s, to the contemporary impact of new technologies and consolidated corporate.

  • Includes interview segments with industry insiders, pictures, and sidebars to illustrate important figures, trends, and events

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

1 No Small Potatoes 1

Communication and Transportation: The Divorce 1

Water, Water Everywhere 6

Electrical Bananas 9

Here Comes the Judge 10

Say What? 11

2 A Downstream Medium 21

The Show Business 22

Radical Consumerism Occupies the Middle 27

Networking 31

Quality Control 34

3 A Burning Bush? 37

Broadcasting: Love It or Need It? 38

A Vertical System of Culture 44

Compatible Software 46

4 Staging and Screening 53

Sets 53

Getting with the Program 55

The Origins of ABC 58

5 Corruption and Plateau 66

Technology 66

Industry 67

Art 67

Scandals and Shake-Outs 70

6 Dull as Paint and Just as Colorful 76

TV Rules 76

Just Plain Folks 84

Television Gothic 86

7 A Myth is as Good as a Smile 89

When No News Was Good News . . . in Prime Time 91

Shows Without Trees 94

As Real As It Got 98

Regulation and Social Effects 103

Programming and the Television Industry 108

8 Oligopoly Lost and Found 111

The Train and the Station 114

The Shock of the News 121

The Third Mask of Janus 126

Index 131

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Author Information

David Marc is a writer and editor who teaches at Syracuse University and Le Moyne College. He is the author of Demographic Vistas (1984; 1996), Comic Visions (1989; Blackwell, 1997) and Bonfire of the Humanities (1995).

Robert J. Thompson is a Professor at Syracuse University, where he heads the Center for the Study of Popular Television at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. His books include Adventures on Prime Time (1990) and Television’s Second Golden Age (1996).

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The Wiley Advantage


  • Provides a brief, accessible, and engaging overview of television’s history and development in the US by two prominent experts on television and popular culture




  • Covers the entire history of American television, from its urban, middle-class beginnings, through its arrested development in the late 40s, its rise to dominance as a mass medium in the 50s, and its slowly maturing content stream throughout the 60s and 70s


  • Explores the effect, since the 80s, of competing technologies, consolidation of media ownership and the emerging aesthetics of 21st-century programming


  • Includes interview segments with industry insiders, pictures, and sidebars to illustrate important figures, trends, and events.

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Reviews

“One could hardly ask for a more entertaining introduction to the history of entertainment media and its role in contemporary culture.” Stephen O’Leary, Annenberg School for Communication, USC
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