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American Television Abroad: Hollywood's Attempt to Dominate World Television

Overview

" Once the major Hollywood studios got over their loathing of television as an entertainment medium, they moved quickly to try to dominate both domestic and international programming. In the United States, the eight major studios controlled an overwhelming majority of all television programming by the early 1950s. Their efforts in foreign markets were not quite so successful, but by the 1990s U.S. distributors controlled about 75 percent of the international television trade. Hollywood's efforts in television were often thwarted by governments

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Overview

" Once the major Hollywood studios got over their loathing of television as an entertainment medium, they moved quickly to try to dominate both domestic and international programming. In the United States, the eight major studios controlled an overwhelming majority of all television programming by the early 1950s. Their efforts in foreign markets were not quite so successful, but by the 1990s U.S. distributors controlled about 75 percent of the international television trade. Hollywood's efforts in television were often thwarted by governments that recognized the airwaves as a public resource and intervened in varying degrees to keep the studios' programing off the air in their countries. Still the U.S. industry found various ways to provide American fare to foreign viewers. Even into the 1980s, for example, some Hollywood shows could be bought by foreign broadcasters for fees as low as $25 per segment. Despite these efforts the American studios have never been able to completely dominate foreign airwaves: Viewers usually prefer their own, domestic fare to that offered by Hollywood. This history fully documents the U.S. television industry's efforts in foreign markets and how it continues to look for new markets.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice.
well-researched
Choice
"well-researched"
Library Journal
With their simple story lines, action plots, international stars, and aggressive marketing techniques, Hollywood movies dominate the world film market. This book argues that American film studios have always exploited advantages and have formed a cartel intent on creating "Hollyworld." Among the charges leveled against the group: direct ownership of theaters, price fixing, block booking, favored treatment from the U.S. government, even a cozy relationship with German Nazis. Recent topics include Motion Picture Association of America president Jack Valenti's fierce protection of the industry, the GATT treaty's effect on Hollywood, the videocassette revolution, and problems with piracy. Depicting Jurassic Park as stomping all over world culture, Segrave has assembled an impressive array of statistics (much of the book reads like an accountant's ledger), but his study is humorless and ultimately unpersuasive. This important subject deserves a more engaging book. A marginal purchase for larger international film collections.Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., Pa.
Booknews
Covers the period from the 1940s to the present to tell the story of how the seven major U.S. companies determine what appears on the television screens in American homes and most of what appears on foreign screens during whatever portion foreign product has carved out for itself in a particular country. Sample topics include Brazilians Will Watch Anything, Canada Has Nowhere Else to Go for TV Fare, The American Poison, and There Is No Stopping the U.S. Tide. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786476169
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/26/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking, shoplifting and ticket-scalping. He lives in British Columbia.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 In the Beginning Was Europe, Especially France: 1895-1919 1
2 Consolidating Control: 1920s 21
3 The Eagle Screams in English: 1928-1930 73
4 One Film Suits All: 1930s 81
5 Another War, Another Opportunity: 1939-1945 119
6 Under the Celluloid Boot: 1945-1952 140
7 Hollywood Sells Everywhere: 1952-1979 186
8 Hollywood Dreams of Hollyworld: 1980-1995 236
9 Monoculture 280
Appendix Statistics of the United States Film Industry Abroad 283
Notes 291
Bibliography 329
Index 357
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