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May 2012, Week 1


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Jonathan Nichols-pethick <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 27 Apr 2012 15:30:08 -0400
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*TV Cops: The Contemporary American Television Police Drama*

Jonathan Nichols-Pethick, DePauw University

Routledge, April 2012
ISBN: 978-0-415-87788-6: *$**39.95*

The police drama has been one of the longest running and most popular
genres in American television. In *TV Cops*, Jonathan Nichols-Pethick
argues that, perhaps more than any other genre, the police series in all
its manifestations—from *Hill Street Blues* to *Miami Vice* to *The
the full range of the cultural dynamics of television.

Exploring the textual, industrial, and social contexts of police shows on
American television, this book demonstrates how polices drama play a vital
role in the way we understand and engage issues of social order that most
of us otherwise experience only in such abstractions as laws and crime
statistics. And given the current diffusion and popularity of the form, we
might ask a number of questions that deserve serious critical attention:
Under what circumstances have stories about the police proliferated in
popular culture? What function do these stories serve for both the
television industry and its audiences? Why have these stories become so
commercially viable for the television industry in particular? How do
stories about the police help us understand current social and political
debates about crime, about the communities we live in, and about our
identities as citizens?
*Jonathan Nichols-Pethick* is Associate Professor of Media Studies at
DePauw University. His work has appeared in *The Velvet Light Trap*, *Cinema
Journal* and the anthology *Beyond Prime Time: Television Programming in
the Post-Network Era*.

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