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March 2010, Week 1


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Michael Curtin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 1 Mar 2010 14:26:21 -0800
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>> The American Television Industry
>> Michael Curtin and Jane Shattuc
>> In an age of proliferating choices, television nevertheless remains  
>> the most popular medium in the United States. Americans spend more  
>> time with TV than ever before, and many 'new media' forms, such as  
>> blu-ray movies, Hulu videos, and Internet widgets, are produced and  
>> delivered by the world's most lucrative and powerful television  
>> industry. Yet that industry has undergone profound changes since  
>> the 1980s, moving from a three-network oligopoly to a sprawling  
>> range of channels and services dominated by a handful of major  
>> conglomerates. Viewers can now access hundreds of channels at all  
>> hours of the day and can search and select from hundreds of  
>> thousands of individual programs on video and Internet services.  
>> This diversity has fragmented the size of television audiences and  
>> transformed relationships between viewers and television companies.  
>> Unlike the first fifty years of television, today's industry  
>> leaders can no longer rely on mass audiences and steady revenue  
>> flows from big-budget advertisers, and this in turn affects their  
>> programming and production strategies.
>> The American Television Industry offers a concise and accessible  
>> introduction to TV production, programming, advertising and  
>> distribution. Michael Curtin and Jane Shattuc outline how programs  
>> are made and marketed, and provide an insightful overview of key  
>> players, practices and future trends. Although star-driven dramas  
>> and comedies continue to attract a great deal of critical praise  
>> and audience attention, television is increasingly characterized by  
>> niche programming services that, with modest production budgets,  
>> compete for audience attention. In this environment, reality TV  
>> genres have emerged as attractive programming alternatives for  
>> cable services such as the History Channel and the Food Network.  
>> Moreover, programming is increasingly delivered on an a la carte,  
>> on-demand basis to a diverse array of viewing devices, such as  
>> iPods and cell phones.
>> The book analyses the corporate strategies, technological  
>> innovations and cultural transformations that have driven changes  
>> in industry strategy, discourse and practice. Making reference to  
>> numerous case examples, the authors identify definitive trends and  
>> describe key players in industry and government. These are indeed  
>> vibrant but unstable times for the American television industry and  
>> this volume explains the major forces that will shape the future of  
>> the medium in North America and around the world.
>> MICHAEL CURTIN is the Mellichamp Professor of Global Media in the  
>> Department of Film and Media Studies at University of California,  
>> Santa Barbara The author of Redeeming the Wasteland: Television  
>> Documentary and Cold War Politics (Rutgers, 1996) and Playing to  
>> the World's Largest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and  
>> TV (University of California Press, 2008), he is also Director of  
>> Global Studies and Associate Director of the UW International  
>> Institute.
>> JANE SHATTUC is Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson  
>> College in Boston. She has written primarily about American and  
>> European television industries and how their aesthetic and  
>> industrial forms relate to class and gender. Her books include:  
>> Television, Tabloids, Tears: Fassbinder and Popular Culture  
>> (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995) and The Talking  
>> Cure: TV Talk Shows and Women (New York: Routledge, 1997). She co- 
>> edited Hop on Pop: the Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture  
>> (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002) with Henry Jenkins and Tara  
>> McPherson.

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